So first thing this morning my Grandma called to make sure that we knew there was a farmers market in Brantome today....we did not. It took us only a few minutes to get ready and we practically ran to the car. All throughout the town square in the glowing sunshine of the midday there were dozens of stalls selling everything from dried fruits and nuts, vegetables, kitchen utensils and knives, every kind of meat and fish you could think of, local honey, flowers, artisan cheeses and handmade bags! It was wonderful, this was the France I was waiting for! The only thing missing was an old man playing the accordion.
We walked along the tiny streets looking at all of the stalls and sampling what we could and we came away with some really exciting stuff! We got chorizo, wild boar and bison sausages and a beautiful aged cow's milk cheese from the farmer herself. We also got some homemade jams including a melon jam, which I had never even heard of but couldn't resist. We had just gone to the grocery the other day but next week I am going back to get some of the fish and vegetables.
Oh but my favorite find of the day was the spice stall! To catch you up...For the past week we have been stuck inside due to the rain so as a way to occupy my time I have been baking and cooking. The only problem is that you can't just go to a large Whole Foods here and pick up all of your ingredients at once. You have to go to several stores and to top it off they don't have all of the ingredients that I have needed. Cream for example has eluded me completely, I just can't find it anywhere! Seriously! We have also tried to find vanilla beans and chili flakes among other spices and couldn't! So when we came up to the spice stall and I spotted a large jar of vanilla beans I had to have some! She had everything we had been looking for plus some other specialty spice mixes that smelled too good to pass up. I have no doubt that we were her best customers of the day.
Now that we had everything we needed from the market we went into a few of the local shops to check them out. We went into one store that was basically a local artist co-op with wonderful handmade statues, jewelry and clothing. The owner, Sonia, was from Paris and spoke perfect English so we stayed and chatted for a while. She was lovely and told us about the local vet as well as some other needed information and gave us her number in case we ever needed anything... I think we just met our first new friend! Of course I didn't leave her shop empty handed either, I bought a pair of knitted gloves and a new scarf.
Anyway after leaving her shop we decided it was time for lunch. Speaking of things eluding us, we have been trying to go to the Pizza Cave since we got here. It's just one of those places in Brantome that you have to go to ( I mentioned it in an earlier post ). Anyway, we have been 4 times on different days and at different times of the day and every time they were closed. They had no hours posted so we had no way of knowing when there were open. Today we tried again and as luck would have it they were open and it was definitely worth the wait! When anybody comes to visit us we now know what to recommend....I won't tell you anymore about it, I think you will just have to wait to until you visit to find out how good this place is! Who's coming??