Saturday, June 5, 2010

Le Marché de Venelles

This morning Jill and I went to the local market in Venelles, the town where the liquoristerie is located.  I wish I could bring you all the cacophony of sounds and wonderful smells, but unfortunately I only have some pictures––nonetheless, I hope you will enjoy them.

Walking in to the market, Jill pointed out a local apple grower who she recommended, so I bought one for 25 centimes, polished it off on my shirt, and bit in.

The whole set up reminds me of a flea market; vendors having set up their shops under tents, and everything erected in the middle of streets closed to traffic specifically for the event.  People sell fruits, veggies, olives, cheese, bread, even clothes and jewelry.  But, for the purpose of this post, most importantly Paëlla––a traditional Spanish dish that is very popular in Provence.

There are multiple vendors selling their version of the dish, and they cook it in large round pans (similar to woks, but I don't really know what to call them).
I bought my portion from the guy to the left, and he really packed in a good helping.  He served me up some prawns, mussels, chicken, and little squid with the standard rice and peas.  Unfortunately, I could not procure a fork at that moment, so I handed him the 7 euros, and took my bag to a little café on the square.  I bought a coffee, sat down, and watched people mill around (people watching is one of my favorite activities).

Jill had gone off to run some errands, so after finishing my coffee, I grabbed my bag, dropped in my camera, and walked my coveted Paëlla back to the Liquoristerie––about a 10 minute walk from the market.

I opened up the dish to see if it was still warm, and took a small bite.  It's got a rich flavor that makes me think of Spain... even though I have yet to visit the country.  Unfortunately, it had cooled off, so I had to throw it in the microwave (which I'm pretty sure is blasphemy over here, but hey, I need my lunch to be hot).

I took about half of the serving out of its plastic container, and plated it.  Here's a better picture of all the goodies inside:
Obviously you have to be a sea food fan to appreciate the dish, and I'm a lover of pretty much anything edible with a flavor, so I dug in with great satisfaction (Mom, I know you're jealous... Dad, you're probably disgusted, haha).

Well, that's all I have for right now.  Jill and I are going to see a movie in town in a little while, but I'll probably take the bus in a bit earlier to explore.  I just got a working cell phone over here, so I can connect with Jill when she gets into Aix, but if you want my number, send me an email.  Hope you enjoyed the post.  What do you think, would you want to try some Paëlla?  Leave me some love in the comments!


  1. Yes, I AM jealous! That looks wonderful. Missing those French street markets right about now...Send me your phone number kiddo!

  2. I have tried Madrid, and it was very tasty and had some seasoning in it that I didn't (and still don't) recognize. Perhaps it was saffron. Was wondering when you were going to talk about the French this was a treat for us also. I'd like your number, too, Zach. Am sending love your way, Gramma

  3. more facebook-myspace-holding-the-camera-at-arms-distance-in-front-of-something-cool-because-i'm-too-shy-to-ask-someone-to-take-a-picture-of-me pictures!!!
    i'll give you a dollar for every one of those involving a stranger that you take all summer. for reals.
    (your trip looks rad so far - can wait for you to really settle in and introduce us to the kooky locals!)

  4. J'ai vu le Paella il y a 2 semaines, a la Maker Faire en San Mateo. Je ne l'ai pas mange, pourtant. La prochaine fois que je le vois, je vais l'essayer. Tu dois ecrire ton blog demi en francais! Tu habites en France, non? ;) - Annette

  5. Fiona: Brutal. But yes, you're completely right.

    Annette: Si, mais je suis très timide avec mon français. Aussi, je ne pourrais pas écrire tous les mêmes sujets en français que en anglais. Je espère de pouvoir écrire plus en français dans les semaines prochaines.

  6. Hi, Zach!

    Simply enough, it's just called a paella pan.

    I think you'll enjoy reading this, written by a friend of mine who is herself a gifted cook—though it's her Portuguese husband's star dish.