Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mirepoix's Monday Market

   You have to love alliteration, don't you....Mirepoix's marvellous Monday market is maddening at the moment mainly because of its summer visitors. Glad as I am that they're enjoying our part of the country, it can be frustrating elbowing my way through the camera-wielders. House rule at the moment is that if we're not there before 9 a.m., forget it.
   Some random notes, with prices left on so you can see how they compare with what you're paying if you live in North America.
 Organic heirloom tomatoes. Red, orange, yellow, green, striped, blushing, juicy, sweet... serve yourself, mix and match. Slice on a plate, strew with torn basil, sprinkle with olive oil. There's the entrée taken care of. That price of 2.50 euros a kilo translates to about $1.42 a pound.
 One 500 g portion of paella costs $5.50. Get to the market early enough and you can watch it being made.

Cornus and miches are big crusty, hole-y loaves weighing 750 - 800 g. They're meant to last a week, from one market day to the next. These cost $3.37 each.
    You'll pay $1.70 a pound for the main ingredient for your moules marinières. At some point during the past ten years, the price of mussels rocketed from 2.80 euros to 3 euros. It's been 3 euros now for at least three years. This producer farms his moules in Sète on the Mediterranean coast, not far from Montpellier. He gets up at 3 a.m., leaves his house an hour later and eventually parks his van at Mirepoix on Mondays and Lavelanet on Fridays. Other days he goes to other markets. He told me that he's being doing this for 30 years.
    Behind the shellfish, you can make out the doorway of a smart little boutique. If you leave your moules with the moules man (a few kilos can be a few too many to lug round the market) and you haven't arrived by the time he's on the road home, he will leave your purchase inside the boutique

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