Pictures of Agde’s Thursday Market in the Winter Season

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One of the best things about living in Southern France is the weekly outdoor market (marché in French). The marché is a colourful, bustling display of village life gathering in one place to partake in the exchange of local foods and merchandise. In Agde, it’s held every Thursday morning at the Old Town. Cars parked in the market area (warned beforehand by signs on the street) are towed away the night before. Vendors come as early as 5:30 in the morning to set up their stalls and prepare for an 8 o’clock start.  By noon (and at the latest 1pm), the marché closes, and everyone goes home to enjoy their lunch and remainder of the afternoon.

In addition to the weekly Thursday market, the Brocante (antiques and flea market) are held Wednesday mornings. On Tuesday mornings, they have a smaller market for organic produce.

Below are some photos I took over several visits to the market this winter; as well as a video of a friendly vendor who told us about Aligot, a French dish made out of potato and cheese.

The vegetable section of the market

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Look at these amazing cabbages.  What a variety!

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Brian buying dried apricots (abricots in French).

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The fresh vegetable and food section of the market winds through the narrow medieval streets of the old town.

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An array of herbs on display. This is where we purchase our herbs de provence.IMG_6731

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The cheese and meat section of the market

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Les Fromages! A dizzying assortment of cheeses.

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Our favourite French cheese: Laguiole Vieux (aged Laguiole). This particular one was awarded a gold medal.

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This is the blade they use to cut the cheese.

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During Christmas, huge legs of ham were in season.

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Even the sausages are colourful here!

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The first time we learned about Aligot, a traditional French dish originating from the mid-Pyrenees, which is a puree mix of potato, cheese (this one is made of cantal cheese), garlic, fresh cream, and butter. This friendly vendor showed us how to prepare it into a perfect melted consistency. He suggested we eat it with grilled sausage and drink it down with white wine. When we asked if we could add it to our pasta, his answer was an emphatic “non”. Watch the video below to see how he cooks it.

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Tubs filled with candy!

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The flower section of the market is in front of the public library,  Maison des Savoirs (House of Knowledge).

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The clothing and merchandise section of Agde’s Thursday market spills into the centre ville, winding between the two large fountains.

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French fashion for little girls.

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Also at the centre ville is the Coquillages (shells) kiosk where you can buy fresh muscles, clams, and oysters.

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Not far from the Coquillages stand is the Churros stand. The sweet, hot goodness of this treat reminds us of our time spent in Spain.

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I love the local baskets they sell here. I bought a large, brilliantly coloured one for only 5 Euros, which is the going price at low season. When the tourists come at high season, the prices double.

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The French really love their dogs. The tiny fashion accessory dogs (yorkies and bichon frises) are popular here. They sell adorable dog clothes at the market.IMG_6761

Further down the market from the clothing and shoes are the kitchen accessories (table cloths and cooking items) and toys. Our boys were fascinated by the number and variety of toy guns.

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8 Responses to Pictures of Agde’s Thursday Market in the Winter Season

  1. Kelly Warawa says:

    Keep sending us these colorful pictures. Wow oh wow.
    Our family was fortunate to have met with Rick Hansen today, our daughter is running in the relay and his words that spoke to us was….
    .” take a huge leap and go for our dreams, you are doing great things, everyone has been through much difficulty yet you were able to get over that; so you can still accomplish anything”,
    he warmly shook our hands and you could FEEL the genuine passion in his eyes like as if he knew we were all destined for so much more on this earth.
    What an honor to have met him. Brings tears to my eyes. He has touched millions of lives and now he touched our own lives.
    So it all comes down to the CHEESE, Europe has great cheeses and we want to taste some of it.
    Soon enough our whole family will take the plunge, sell our possessions, let go of our house and cars and experience a different culture for a while.

    • briansmeenk says:

      There’s a room here at our place for you guys if you’re in our neck of the woods. It can be a scary thing to liquidate your stuff, but honestly bud, it is liberating. I can’t imagine going back to a life with so much stuff. And it’s been a great experience for us to get out and see other cultures. We’ve had our perspectives widened tremendously and made some amazing memories we’ll always cherish. And yes, the cheese is good. Really good.

  2. Nancy from Mass says:

    Thanks for sharing the pictures of the farmers markets. Love the cabbages! mmm. makes me hungry! How on earth are you going to be able to leave France this summer!?!

    • Hi Nancy! I’m glad you liked them :=)
      I was just thinking the same thing today…How am I going to leave France? I sure am going to miss their incredible baguettes, fantastic cheeses, butter, and wines.
      Jenn

  3. Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing this Jenn! Amazing photos and descriptions! I wish I was there. I think I would go crazy with the all the markets there! And the video about the potato cheese made my stomach grumble mmm 🙂

  4. Susan says:

    Wow…what an amazing place to shop! I find it fascinating that they do it on a weekday. Do the locals that shop there tend to be stay at home moms/women or do the working men also go? I guess I just think about these types of “farmer’s markets” in the US and they would never hold one during the week because they wouldn’t get enough foot traffic. I’ll have to tell our oldest about the fascination with Yorkies…they’re her favorite dog breed! She may run off to France and we’ll never see her again! 🙂

    • Hi Susan!
      That’s a good question. There are so many little towns around here who have their markets on different days because the vendors travel around from town to town. Most of the people I’ve seen at the market are the retired couples. There are definitely the stay-at-home moms and dads that shop here too. In Agde they have large grocery stores, particularly LIDL, HyperU, and ED’s. My friend, who is a teacher, and can’t shop at the market shops on-line at HyperU. For about 4 Euros more, HyperU gathers your shopping list together and bags it. She goes and picks up her groceries after work. She prefers it this way, as she is a busy working mom, but it also helps her NOT to overshop with junkfood.

      The dogs here are so adorable! In the morning and afternoons, we see the retired couples walking their dogs along the river. Most are leash-less, and they talk to their dogs so gently. You should see them warn their dogs to look behind them and get out of the way of our bikes. SO adorable! I’m sure your daughter would love it here!

      🙂 Jenn

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