The town of Auch was slowly coming to life in the crisp, early morning air. The town square was filling up with stands and food trucks; and some of the wares were simply displayed on the cobblestone pavement. Residents were strolling from vendor to vendor, visiting with friends and neighbors, and shopping for needed items. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry. In fact, many locals took the time to enjoy an espresso along with a little sweet treat at the small cafe next to the market. We did too!
The farmers market was located right between the Cathedral Sainte Marie and a gorgeous building dating back to the middle ages.
Everything imaginable was displayed on vendor’s tables:
- A rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fragrant bouquets of flowers
- Vegetable and flower plants for the garden
- Used books
- Entire dining room sets
- Freshly baked crusty bread
- Handmade goat cheese
- Out-of-this-world Basque cheese, some of it flavored with local Espelette pepper flakes (my absolute favorite!)
- Dried beans, lentils and grains
- A huge assortment of olives
- Dried fruits, nuts and spices
- Meat and seafood
- Basque berets
- Freshly cooked crepes filled with Nutella and freshly sliced strawberries.
While browsing the market offerings, chatting with the vendors, and inquiring about the local cuisine, I noticed some dried fruit: small yellowish, oval sugarcoated pieces. Kumquats! They tasted incredibly delicious. Sweet, but not too sweet. Tart, but not too tart. And they were just moist enough to give them a “fresh” mouthfeel. I immediately asked for a few more than I had originally planned on getting. I have never had any dried fruit quite like this before.
We also bought some fresh bread, locally grown and roasted almonds, a small piece of goat cheese and some of the incredible Esplelette infused cheese to bring along on the bus and train to our next stop …
Pau, the city with the “Pyrenees Balcony”.