Cheese and a few other french morsels

The goats cheese section of the cheese shop

After the loving the cheese from our trip to France last year, I set myself a goal of buying cheese from a real fromagere at the local market for this trip. But I found the whole idea intimidating enough that my first step was to do a tour of our local market. My local market for these two weeks is the Marché Victor Hugo, which describes itself as the oldest covered market in France. A slight exaggeration, in my view, as they completely replaced the building in the 1950s, with some fairly ordinary brutalist architecture, and added three stories of car parking on top. Nevertheless, the market itself is pretty special, with 60 odd food vendors (who to this Australian, seemed supremely authentic examples of traditional french food vendors), plus restaurants and bars.

My tour guide was an american cheesemonger, who has lived here for six years, who is completely passionate about every aspect of how the food we were buying and tasting comes to our plates.

After her orientation yesterday, this morning, I managed to go and buy lunch, not just a local goats cheese (from nearby Lot), but also a traditional baguette and local saussicon sec – dried sausage.

French lunch

As I should have known, that was way too much for one lunch, but apart from the baguette (not too hard to replace tomorrow for 1.35 Euro) it’ll all last very well for my time here.

My tour guide had two more extremely useful recommendations for me – a local pastry called the Paris-Toulouse (based on the original Paris-Brest, which was apparently invented for the cycling race of the same name in 1891). The Paris-Toulouse adds a local violet colour and flavour, as Toulouse was well known for violets (both for colour and eating) in the 19th and first half of the 20th century, until a disease nearly wiped them all out.

Paris Toulouse

And finally, a local restaurant with an authentic Toulouse Cassoulet. When I first heard about this dish (which is 70% haricot beans and sauce) I thought it sounded quite healthy, but now that I’ve eaten some, I realised that the other 30% is pork sausage and a combination of duck and goose, so while it was delicious, it was probably enough for the next few days.


Possibly my next activity should involve some exercise.

2 thoughts on “Cheese and a few other french morsels

  1. Temptation all the way. How fortunate am I
    that I only read about it. All the food mentioned
    is my favorite. Bon Appetit,

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