Carcassonne has no lack of farms surrounding the city nor markets to showcase their produce. Three days a week there’s an open air market on the main town square with Saturday attracting at least 50 vendors and thousands of customers who, like us, come on foot while lots of others drive in from the suburbs. Just in the last week or so you might have read the posts about rubbing elbows with the Mayor at an evening local producers market or last Saturday’s wine fair at the local agricultural high school. This week we were up deep inside the castle’s double walls for yet another festival highlighting locally made food and drink.
The city used this weekend’s Marché des Producteurs de Pays (Country Farmers’ Market) to kick off the tourist season. We counted more than 20 booths where you could buy a large range of wines, honey, cheese, meats, and other products from the farms surrounding Carcassonne. This differed from the open-air market that we walk to two or three times a week in town because this weekend’s vendors grew and/or produced everything they had on sale using traditional methods.
On previous driving trips around France, we noticed how often we saw signs advertising local products for sale. Even on the highway rest stops you can buy something from that section of the country whether it’s from a full-size restaurant/convenience store or a trailer kiosk on wheels. The supermarkets here have certain weeks when they promote a different region of France with permanent displays for products produced within a few kilometers of the store. We’re lucky that we don’t have far to go to find good things to eat and drink.