Traditions - General Info Section
French food markets – colourful and lively
French food markets are colourful and lively and highly popular with both locals and tourists.
They are indeed major places of commercial exchanges of course, but also of social interaction.
Farmers and common people used to set off early morning in order to find a good spot in their local market to sell their meager production.
This included fruit from their orchards, vegetables from their garden, eggs, poultry, cheese and various products from their farms as well as handicrafts (baskets, wooden objects, lace ...)
Food markets were one of the few places where women could go to without a chaperone.
Indeed, they could escape from their home in order to buy the daily basic items or sell their own products.
Each village had its food market, and the most prosperous built wooden covered markets or halles.
Did you know that many halles you admire nowadays were built from chestnut wood?
This wood has the property of repelling spiders, so you will never see spiderwebs in these halles.
No need to say that it also simplified maintenance down to a simple dusting!
French food markets, a meeting place
Food markets have fortunately survived through the centuries until modern day, despite the relatively recent emergence of supermarkets!
They have retained their regular customers, elderly, people with no means of transport and of course people accustomed to market day being 'meeting day' and the highlight of their week.
This is the occasion to bump into friends and distant relatives and have a chat with their favourite stall vendor.
Food markets have obviously a majority of stalls selling meat, fish and dairy products.
However, you'll also find many stalls selling flowers, spices and handicrafts, all side by side.
Prices are not necessarily cheaper than at the supermarket.
Market enthusiasts won't compromise, however, on the quality and origin of the products sold by local producers.
They also enjoy the ability to purchase by unit.
All this comes with a bonus, a unique and qualitative customer-vendor relationship, as the French food markets are fantastic social networks!