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Favorite market/picnic foods in SW France

Favorite market/picnic foods in SW France

Sep 22nd, 2007, 05:03 AM
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Favorite market/picnic foods in SW France

Now that the dollar is at a new low, I imagine we'll do even more picnics than usual. What are some of your favorite items to pick up from groceries, bakeries, and markets for a casual meal/picnic? What are some of your favorite, under ten euro, wines. Any suggestions for favorite picnic spots in SW France? We always pack a wine opener, and a few plastic cups and plates to reuse then discard before we go home. Anyone have any favorite items they take along? Thanks.
Ella is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 05:22 AM
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Well, the usual of course: bread, cheese, sausage maybe, fruit, dessert. They have these wonderful Italian grapes this time of year, and the long pointed tomatoes. If you're in Sete, Les Halles has a guy who'll pump you some wine by the liter out of the big plastic vats.

Beach picnic at Phare de L’Espiguette, east of la Grande-Motte, if you can manage it.

I pack my folding Opinel knife when I remember it.
stokebailey is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 05:40 AM
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South West France is huge! Where will you be?
sheila is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 06:44 AM
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We will be driving from Montpellier along the coast to Spanish border,then up through Toulouse to Rocamdour and Sarlat area and out from Bordeaux.
Ella is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:40 AM
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OK. Unhelpfully, I can't really, then. I am, however, quite good on the Hautes Pyrenees. Sorry
sheila is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Plastic bag in hand, we head to a supermarche for: a crusty baguette, 2 cheeses, a package of cold meats, two apples and a bottle of Cote du Rhone.

We also carry a picnic kit with table cloth, wine glasses, knives and a corkscrew.
RonZ is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Pezenas has a great Sat. morning market

Toulouse permanent & weekly markets are fabulous

Quercy region;
Cahors Sat & Wed markets are excellent

Caussade has a great food market - forget which day - look it up here.

Dordogne area:
Sarlat has good (but touristy) Wed & Sat markets

St Cyprien's Sunday market is good for food, foie gras (mi-cuit), roasted quail & chicken, etc.

La Bugue has a good market (Tues, I think) - look it up

Souillac isn't that great. IMO.

Not much in the Roussillon region - if you get that far south. Ceret is only OK.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 09:36 AM
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I like sandwiches that are already made up from the bakeries. I've yet to have a bad bottle of white wine in that price range, just picking what seems popular from the shelves.

suze is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 10:20 AM
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hi, ella,

mainly Stu got there first.

also, the sat am market in sarlat is terrific, but I'm not sure if it's open all year. when are you going?

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 11:29 AM
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From the livingfrance.com site that Stu gave a link to, Sarlat appears to be open. Some are marked July/August only. I'll be there in a few weeks, but won't be in Sarlat on Saturday. Maybe Wednesday.
Thanks for all the replies so far. Any wine suggestions? Suze, what kind of sandwiches do the bakeries have?
Ella is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 11:46 AM
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<<What are some of your favorite, under ten euro, wines.>>

Ella, you'll be driving through some very interesting wine producing areas. Languedoc, for many years the source of mediocre table wine, has vastly improved over the past decade or so. Here are some of the locals, all of which will be available for well under €10 ...

Reds: Banyuls, Corbières, Coteaux du Langudoc, Faugères, Fitou, Minervois, Côtes du Roussillon, and Saint-Chinian. We've tried them all; Faugères and Minervois are the ones we favour. All are good with lamb. They'd work with sausage on a picnic.

I'm less familiar with the whites, but do recollect a very nice Coteaux du Languedoc with some kind of seafood in Agde.

For a treat: try the sparkling Blanquette de Limoux (but you'd have to find a way to chill it for your picnic). Languedoc also produces very nice Muscats, which go well with foie gras ... it's a marriage made in heaven, actually.

You'll find all of these wines readily available along the way. Large towns often have wine stores, but grocery stores and supermarkets such as Carrefour and Leclerc have shelves full of wine.

Can't help much as you move west past Toulouse; I haven't been there yet.

AnselmAdorne is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 11:47 AM
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I'll throw my hat in for the afformentioned bread, cheese, sausage and fruit.

My wife and I did a lot of walking and hiking and didn't go anywhere without a picnic.

Dried sausages were available at great prices at every farmers market and many groceries. We kept the cheese (if we couldn't find any fresh) in the mini-fridge at the hotel or at the B&B the host was happy to store it.

Mini-bottles of wine were also available in many places (or even the boxed table wines were very good).
astein12 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 01:21 PM
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The Sarlat markets are indeed open Wednesday and Saturday all year- as they have been probably for the last few hundred years.

We live between Sarlat and Souillac, and usually go to the Souillac market on Friday - less crowded, less touristy in the summer. Probably not the best to see if you are only going to be here a week or less (big mistake)

Most markets will have someone doing roast chicken, often paella, lots of sausage, ham, etc.

One of our favouite picnic spots is at St Leon sur Vezere. Probably the most beautiful Romanesque church in a region with lots of them, by the river, small chateau behind. And a picnic table, not often found in this part of France. Not to mention ducks adn the occasional goose.
Carlux is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 02:07 PM
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KarenKM is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 03:44 PM
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This sounds weird, but if you see a grated carrot salad in one of the charcuteries, snap it up. Really delicious.
miasmadude is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 03:52 PM
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>>This sounds weird, but if you see a grated carrot salad in one of the charcuteries<<

They have those in most large groceries also - along with crated celerac (celery).

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 11:22 PM
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Stu Dudley, you should know better- celeriac isn't celery. It's, ummmm, celeriac.
sheila is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 01:36 AM
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At the supermarket, you'll be finding some quite good wines for less than 5€.

The deli section of any supermarket has lots of good options, and the deli section of a hypermarket is truly stunning. You can buy roasted chickens just about anywhere, but for a different taste, especially if you are eating it cold, you might want to try a smoked chicken, in which case you'll also want to get a tube of mayonnaise and a tube of mustard in the condiment section. The tubes are much more practical than jars when traveling and they can get by without refrigeration since no air gets in.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 05:39 AM
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My favorite thing to eat is the celeraic, remoulade specifically. I make it at home now with a recipe from Julia Child. I eat lots of "bad" food while in France, including a whole lot of flour products (bread, pastry, etc. ) that my body is unaccustomed to. That celery root remoulade does wonders for the system, iykwim! ;-)

The drive I would recommend is south out of Collioure down to Cerbere. Just south of Port Vendres there is a road you can take out to a point with a lighthouse. It is just gorgeous. The road is very winding and a bit scary in a few places. (had a run-in of sorts with a huge truck outside Banyuls!) I don't think I'd drink a whole heck of a lot before getting on that road. But it is a gorgeous drive and a picnic out at the point could be nice. Have fun!
Amy40 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 06:01 AM
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Rotisserie chicken, fresh slicing tomatoes, fresh fruit, baguette, cheese, hard boiled eggs. Wine and water of course.

Picnics in France can't be beat, besides the views almost everywhere, there are the scents and sounds of the countryside. I look forward to my French picnics more than I do a fine restaurant meal.
lemidi is offline  

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