Plan A for this morning: Ride our bikes over the hilly, 17-kilometre route from Daglan to Cazals, via Campagnac and then Marminiac, and enjoy the Cazals weekly market. Not-so-surprising variable factor: We now interrupt Plan A, to bring you a gentle rain that begins falling, just as we’re ready to execute Plan A and leave the house. Let us now move to Plan B for this morning: Drive my car to Cazals, and enjoy its weekly market.
Despite the cool weather (somewhere around 16 Celsius), the Cazals market was packed (with people) and well stocked (with seasonal fruit and vegetables). And my wife Jan and I did manage to score some tasty stuff.
First, here’s an overview of the market itself, which takes up the entire main square in the village:
A lot of local produce is now becoming available, and it’s looking pretty good. (Not as water-logged as you might have expected.) In fact, there is so much available that we couldn’t buy everything that looked worth buying. So I’ll start this short photo essay with some items we did not buy, like these red-skinned new potatoes:
Cherries are now readily available, and the few that I’ve tasted are delicious. But for one reason or another, we didn’t buy any of these cherries (cerises) from the Lot (the département just south of the Dordogne):
As always, markets have prepared foods as well as fresh ingredients. I thought this paella in the Cazals market looked especially good, given all the prawns that were arranged on the top. But again, we didn’t buy any, because we had already planned lunch for today (Jan’s chicken with spinach and coriander leaves in a coconut-milk curry sauce). Still, the paella looks well constructed and tasty:
Switching now to things we did buy, here’s a group of girolle mushrooms (you might know them as chanterelles) that looked tempting as well as inexpensive. So we bought a basket of them:
And then, wonder of wonder, we found these fraises des bois, or strawberries of the woods, or simply: wild strawberries. Immediately I thought of the fragoline di bosco that I loved when we were in Tuscany, and I knew that we had to buy some. So of course, we did. Now you’ll notice one thing about them — their incredibly small size. To put them into perspective, I’m showing them with the teaspoon that came with a coffee we ordered from a nearby café:
There’s another key point about these wild strawberries: They really don’t last long. In fact, when I tasted one in the market, it was already a bit soft. So we had them today as dessert, after lunch, with heavy cream. Delicious!
As for the girolles, Jan is planning to sauté them tomorrow for lunch, and serve them with some slices of enchaud de porc that we bought on our return to Daglan, at the wonderful Fabrice le Chef boutique. (You’ll remember that confit de canard is duck that’s been slow-cooked in duck fat; well, enchaud is pork that’s also slow-cooked in fat, usually with a nice hint of garlic. It’s quite yummy.) More to come on all that, later.
For now, I’ll just close with a public service message. To wit:
Public service message: If you have friends or relatives in the Netherlands, and have been worried because you’ve been unable to reach them, I have good news. They are just fine. They are at the Cazals market. You’re welcome.