Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saint-Michel on Saturday

I love my neighborhood every day, but especially on Saturdays, when the Capucins covered market draws the liveliest crowd of vendors and gastronomes of all kinds.  I like to go early, when it's just me, these tiny but feisty blue-hairs, and an occasional group of boisterous young men who never went to bed on Friday night, who come here to fill their bellies before going home and sleeping it off.

A little banter with the drunk boys distracted me from taking the pictures I wanted to this morning.  But I did get a shot of the fromager:

And of these maraichers, who grow all sorts of interesting Asian vegetables just outside of Bordeaux:

After filling up my little shopping caddy here I usually head straight for the other Saturday market, sometimes called "le marché des arabes", which takes place on the square in front of the church.  In the 500 meters between the Capucins and the place Saint Michel I counted no less than SEVEN halal butcher shops.  Seven.  All clustered around my address.  If I'm out and about in the morning, I often walk past the open delivery trucks and catch a glimpse of very identifiable cow carcasses, before they get chopped into something anyone might call appetizing.  So why do I still love my neighborhood?

These little shops offer so much more than meat: it's where I stock up on dried chickpeas and lentils in bulk, olives of all kinds, pickled peppers, preserved lemons, harissa, tahini, olive oil, argan oil, all kinds of spices .... you get the picture!

Plus, I'd rather have friendly, independently owned butcher shops than impersonal, corporation-owned supermarkets anyday.  Am I right?  You should have seen how proud this guy was when I asked him if I could photograph his olives.

On to the marché des arabes:

Let's cut to the chase: what did I bring home?

Do you think this will last me for the week?

1 comment:

  1. Vive la France and its amazing markets and specialized shops - I'm curious about what you're going to make with all your loot!