Farm shop in Provence
I must admit, and you’ve probably noticed, that I am minorly obsessed with markets. Despite generally scheduling my entire week around whichever market I would like to visit, I sometimes just can’t get to the market I want to with the best produce. Since living in France my standards have become very high! Believe it or not, depending on the weekly market you frequent, the freshest vegetables may not be found there. Instead, why don’t you try your local farm shop in Provence?
Le Potager D’Emilie is my local “primeur” where I often buy baskets full of veggies, fruits, dairy products, nuts and wine for great prices. If green beans had a heartbeat- they would still be beating on the shelves they are so fresh! The produce is picked all day long 20 meters away from the store. This is particularly evident with the salads; I’ve never seen more healthy specimens!
The Best Local and Foreign Produce
Personally, I never buy vegetables in a normal supermarket here. I will happily go out of my way to stop at the local producer where the produce is cheap and fresh. I often only go with some spare change. Stores like this one also buy in quality products from all over France as well as internationally. Therefore, you really have no need to feel completely limited with seasonal produce. I mainly stick to what is seasonal, as it is so obviously superior. However, I must admit that I do enjoy the odd imported banana and I must always have lemons on my kitchen counter.
I’ve noticed that in just about every small Provencal town, or just on the outskirts, there is a farm shop like this that sells directly from farmer to consumer. Often, they are ideally located right next to the grocery store!! They are also often Bio (organic) or have extensive Bio sections. They tend to carry the best quality local cheeses, succulent prunes and of course veggies and fruits. Some also have farmer buddies that sell meat that you can order in especially.
Meeting the Locals
Another benefit in frequenting a “primeur”, or vegetable merchant, like this is that if you’re trying to integrate into the community and meet people, this is just one more way to do so. Sometimes, though, it can get too friendly. Last year, when I was living in Lambesc, I walked into my local producer’s shop to find the owner crying that he had just found his wife with another man out back. Oh my. I didn’t quite know what to say!
Le Potager D’Emilie is open 6 days a week. It closes for a good 2.5 hours at lunch (as most do, so plan your trip accordingly!)
Le Potager D’Emilie
Chemin du Jardinier