Shopping at the Artisan Market in the Queyras Regional Park- Saveurs des Alpes du Sud Argriculteur Artisan

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Friday 14 August 2015

Shopping at the Artisan Market in the Queyras Regional Park- Saveurs des Alpes du Sud Argriculteur Artisan

As anyone who follows this blog will know, as we eat a whole food, plant-based diet we just love to find good local markets where we can stock up on plenty of freshly picked, local produce. The quicker the food can get from the soil or tree and into our bodies the better! A factor we are to increasingly value with each passing week and new food experiences we're recognising just how much better it tastes and how much better we feel. So it was a great treat for us, upon returning from our cycle to the head of the Guil valley at l'Echalp, to discover an artisan market visiting right on our doorstep in Aiguilles that day.

Touring from April until November, the Saveurs des Alpes du Sud - Agriculteur Artisan has been direct selling from farm to customer since 1995 and as we wandered into Aiguilles centre not knowing what to expect we were pleasantly surprised to find a good selection of stalls selling produce including organic bread and cakes, oils and vinegars, honey, jams and preserves, herbs and massage oils and best of all for us, fresh fruit and veg'! It was a special treat to find that one stall in particular was selling organic lettuce heads picked that morning along with organic redcurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries. After weeks on frozen berries in Ceillac we couldn't wait to try these and the prices were brilliant compared to what supermarkets charge. We also stocked up on kilos of tomatoes, apricots, peaches and nectarines also from a local farm in Les Mees.

With plenty of people browsing the stalls, colourful tents and a sunny sky it was a great atmosphere as well as providing a chance to stock up on some high quality food and it didn't take us long to try it either. The fruits were just delicious! Although we didn't partake ourselves there were also plenty of people perusing the dried meats, breads and cheeses as well, also all made by the farmers.

We enjoyed the food so much that we were especially happy to find ourselves at the same market once again just under week later when it arrived in our current base of Arbries a few kilometres further up the valley. In the intervening days the market had been all over the region, but was making it's second of just 2 stops for the year in the Queyras and as luck would have it was right on our doorstop. Some of the stalls were different this time (we guess they must rotate slightly) but the one we sought out was the tomato/peach selling farm where we promptly stocked up on 5 kilos of vibrant, diverse tomatoes and an entire pallet of nectarines and peaches, along with apples and pears picked the previous day. That was breakfast sorted!

In fact, breakfast was so much fun we even went back at lunchtime to replace what we had already eaten and make sure we had plenty on board for the weekend ahead (as I'm writing these words I'm staring at a colourful tower of tomatoes, peaches, pears and apples in boxes just a few feet away).

Overall we felt very lucky to have enjoyed the artisan market and the friendly stallholders made us feel very welcome. The market which tours the entire southern Alps stops just a handful of times a week in the early and late parts of the season but is pretty much a daily event through July and August. To check the locations and dates visit.

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