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The Best French Food Market in France

Updated on June 14, 2015

Revel's Saturday Morning Food Market

This is another of my 'day out in France' lenses where I am going to discuss the very popular farmers market at Revel in the Haute Garonne department of Southern France which is located in the Midi-Pyrenees region.

Revel is very close to the border between Midi-Pyrenees and the Languedoc Roussillon region where we are located. In fact a 20 minute drive from our gite, see French Holidays Aude for details, will see you in the centre of Revel and the foothills of the 'Montagne Noire'..

To find out more about me visit my Google page at Brian Stephens

French Food In a French Food Market
French Food In a French Food Market

Fabulous French Food

Locally Produced

Many of our guests have visited the market at Revel and commented on the wonderful selection of local produce that is available there and we all know that food markets are a part of French culture. But it is more than that, of course it is about the food, the fois gras, the French cheeses, the local hams and the vast array of vegetables on offer, but it is also about the ambiance that exists, the buzz of activity, the shouts of the stall holders and the banter that goes on as they try to sell their wares in what must be one of the best outdoor market facilities the South of France has to offer.

So what makes Revel so special, one of the towns most endearing features is its 14th century covered square that is topped by a very impressive bell tower. This facility plays host to the Office de Tourisme (and the public toilets) during normal operating hours, but on a Saturday morning the covered square and town streets see a massive influx of stall holders and not just selling French food.

The square is where you will find food stalls of every variety taking refuge under the covered roof. The outer sections of the square are where you will find the permanent shops and cafes but also more vegetable stalls and gardening stalls selling flowers, shrubs, bulbs and sometimes garden utensils and tools.

As you leave the immediate vicinity of the square into the outer streets you will start to find the clothes stalls, materials, hats, general tools, bric a brac and shoes. In fact, everything you might find in a busy shopping centre you can find catered for by the marketing community, often at bargain prices. We have had many a 5kg bag of French onions for €2, amazing value and often you are making the trade to the sound of a saxophone or some other musical instrument being played in the background.

There is no doubt that anyone visiting this particular market will leave it having noted a very rewarding morning in the South of France.

Before moving on however its is worth having a look around to see what else the town has to offer, for example the eglise Notre Dame (sure I have heard that name somewhere before) or in the Place de la mission, you can find the Statue de Folon and there are plenty of other nice little squares dotted about with a seat to park on for a while.

Revel is also famous for it's Art Meubles and apparently for a liqueur called Get 27 which has been produced in the town since the 18th Century. Wikipedia can fill you in on the details, I need to go to the shops and get a bottle or two, can't believe I didn't know about it.

Just joking, there are plenty of high quality furniture shops in and around the town selling some wonderful products locally produced and the town plays host to a cabinet making school where apprentices can come and train in high quality furniture manufacture and cabinet making (don't think there is a school for manufacturing Get 27, but you can't have everything).

There are also plenty of typical French cafe's, bars and restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by while you get a bit of sunshine, so take a pause wind down the mania and chill out a bit French style, there is always 'demain' if you need it.

To purchase photographs of France on cards visit Moulin Graphic Designs

John Burton Race on Amazon - All the best chefs love France

John Burton Race spent a year living and being filmed in France, the program was called French Leave and the result was a book of the same name full of French food recipes.

Rumour has it here that he never did actually buy that van he was so proud of, allegedly he borrowed it from a local, hmmm not sure!!

A Great Place for Harricot Verte

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A bit of Saxaphone for the soul.Not absolutely everything is local!!It's no good pretending you haven't seen the cameraAre these edibleI don't know whether to have a ham or the saucissonThe saucisson does look goodOr maybe a few sweeties would be betterMust take a long time to get a place out of the rain, I mean sunDo you think they are selling the boxes.You can't beat a good artichoke.
A bit of Saxaphone for the soul.
A bit of Saxaphone for the soul.
Not absolutely everything is local!!
Not absolutely everything is local!!
It's no good pretending you haven't seen the camera
It's no good pretending you haven't seen the camera
Are these edible
Are these edible
I don't know whether to have a ham or the saucisson
I don't know whether to have a ham or the saucisson
The saucisson does look good
The saucisson does look good
Or maybe a few sweeties would be better
Or maybe a few sweeties would be better
Must take a long time to get a place out of the rain, I mean sun
Must take a long time to get a place out of the rain, I mean sun
Do you think they are selling the boxes.
Do you think they are selling the boxes.
You can't beat a good artichoke.
You can't beat a good artichoke.

Lac de St Ferreol - Right on the doorstep of Revel

Lac de St Ferreol near Revel
Lac de St Ferreol near Revel

Lac de St Ferreol, right on the doorstep of Revel

The nice thing about Revel is that while you are visiting the market you can easily collect the ingredients for a really good picnic. All you need is a lovely fresh French loaf, a bit of fois gras maybe, perhaps some Roquefort or a bit of Brie, a few tomato's and or some French onions, and then all you want is a venue.

Le Lac de St Ferreol is less than 10 minutes away and has some very nice woodland picnic places looking over the water alternatively you can just head down to the beach or sit on the rocks, anywhere that takes your fancy. Actually you don't even need your picnic, there are quite a few nice restaurants and cafes around the lake some of which look right across the water giving wonderful viewpoints.

It is also a place of historic interest for the region, find out more on Wikipedia

Another option to consider, particularly being at the gateway to La Montagne Noire and the national park, you can quickly find plenty of picnic places only a short drive from Revel. All you need to do is head out of Revel towards Soreze and Durfort and you will quickly pick up signposts to the mountains and a world of tranquility where you can lose the crowds and enjoy a little bit of quiet, you don't have to but it is a choice that's available to you.

Lac De St Ferreol Photographs - And A Great Place for a Picnic

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Its not just the scenery that's niceCan be just as gorgeous in the winterSee what I meanSome nice little cafes around the lakePierre Paul Riquet's little dam is quite impressivePath to the Gerbes et Cascades, part of the water system that feeds the Canal du MidiCascades, flowing to the Canal du Midi and a very powerful fountain to boot.Cascades, flowing to the Canal du MidiCascades, still flowing to the Canal du MidiThe fountain's quite interesting, kids love to play under it in the summer.
Its not just the scenery that's nice
Its not just the scenery that's nice
Can be just as gorgeous in the winter
Can be just as gorgeous in the winter
See what I mean
See what I mean
Some nice little cafes around the lake
Some nice little cafes around the lake
Pierre Paul Riquet's little dam is quite impressive
Pierre Paul Riquet's little dam is quite impressive
Path to the Gerbes et Cascades, part of the water system that feeds the Canal du Midi
Path to the Gerbes et Cascades, part of the water system that feeds the Canal du Midi
Cascades, flowing to the Canal du Midi and a very powerful fountain to boot.
Cascades, flowing to the Canal du Midi and a very powerful fountain to boot.
Cascades, flowing to the Canal du Midi
Cascades, flowing to the Canal du Midi
Cascades, still flowing to the Canal du Midi
Cascades, still flowing to the Canal du Midi
The fountain's quite interesting, kids love to play under it in the summer.
The fountain's quite interesting, kids love to play under it in the summer.

French Food Markets - A European Lifestyle

Castelnaudary's not to shabby either - Castelnaudary, Market Town and Home of Cassoulet

Castelnaudary, which is another lovely little market town that sits on the Canal du Midi and is famous for it's cassoulet is even closer to us at Le Moulin, being only about 10 minutes away. Castelnaudary has it's market day on a Monday and I have to say it could be argued that it is equally as good a market as Revel, they are certainly similar in size and both extend their produce beyond the traditional food markets to include clothes, materials, plants and ready cooked food for immediate consumption or to take home for later.

If you buy Rick Stein's 'French Odyssey' there is a fantastic recipe for French onion soup with crusty French bread and cheese on top, plus amongst many other recipes there is also a Bull Fighters stew well worth a cooking session.

That came from the Camargue which is about 2 hours from us but is absolutely fabulous as Edina Monsoon would say, or was it Patsy. Rick floated past us down the Canal du Midi when he was making the BBC series of the same name as the book putting a few recipes together as went, not sure if it is gourmet food or not but it's pretty tasty.

Castelnaudary is also the capital of the Lauragais region which was an economic and strategic hotspot of enormous historical significance. The Story of the Lauragais has been detailed in several French History Books including a recent release from Hugh Nicklin as the second in his series following on from his History of Limoux. You can find the Kindle version of the book on Amazon using the link above.

Castelnaudary Food Market

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Rick Stein's French Odyssey: Over 100 New Recipes Inspired by the Flavours of France
Rick Stein's French Odyssey: Over 100 New Recipes Inspired by the Flavours of France

Rick's recipes from his trip down the Canal du Midi and his stop over in Castelnaudary.

 

Another Famous Chef Loved the Cassoulet and Castelnaudary - Rick Steine's French Odyssey

We have Rick Steine's French Odyssey and it is a very good book, even the Cassoulet. But don't ask the locals what they think of him, 'a usurper who thought he could make a cassoulet as good as the best in the town on the first visit' might enter the conversation.

Well they have a point,it has been around for hundreds of years, but we used his recipe and it was very good.


A Food Market Culture

Britain used to have many superb food markets, do you think there should be a weekly one in every decent sized town like in France?

See results

A Place to Stay in France - Languedoc Roussillon

You can visit A Place in France for more details about the property and to contact the owners.

Somewhere Nice to Stay Near Revel & Lac De St Ferreol

French History Books - The Lauragais Story

Living so close to Castelnaudary, the capital of the Lauragais, this book really grabbed my attention. A chance to find out about and understand the history of the region, admittedly in English, where we live. It really is a chequered history, the region has had more than its fair share of heartache and misery, but has risen to be one of the most important parts of France. Toulouse is the centre of aerospace and the home of Airbus, but in days gone by it was wheat and woad that were the main generators of wealth in the region and where the funding for many chateaus was found.

Jewels of French History Books: The Lauragais Story from the South of France
Jewels of French History Books: The Lauragais Story from the South of France

A fascinating insight into the complete history of the Lauragais region of the South of France, from Toulouse to Castelnaudary. Includes the Cathar persecution by Simon De Montfort, the German occupation and much much more. There was a lot of action in the Lauragais over many centuries and if you ever visit this region, this book will really inform you of its past, where money was made and how lives were lost.

 

Which is the best French Food Market You Have Been To?

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    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      Never been to France, but those markets sure look interesting to visit.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      Pietgut market in the Dordogne, about twenty five minutes away from us has to be the best! These look spectacular too though. I'll say this for the French, they know how to do markets, vide greniers and local festivals.

    • oxfordian profile image

      oxfordian 5 years ago

      I miss France!!! :(

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      been to france but never to this places. great idea for a trip

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      I love France - and enjoyed the markets when I was there. Nice pics! Merci beaucoup.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Beautiful photos. Looks like a wonderful place to live.

    • profile image

      Weblady 5 years ago

      I loved the photos as well, especially of that gorgeous lake. Very nice lens.

    • Beadsnresin profile image

      Beadsnresin 5 years ago

      yum the picture with the 'hams' and the 'saucisson' kinda made my mouth water lol

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 4 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I miss my Country, Canada, but every time I go back there the one thing I miss from France is the outdoor markets and their quality tasty food!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 3 years ago

      We used to go to a number of the markets in northern France, in Normandy and Brittany. Loved them all!

    • BrianRS profile image
      Author

      Brian Stephens 3 years ago from France

      @goldenrulecomics: Always the best places to go to get the really good ingredients and best tasting food.

    • JohnCumbow profile image

      JohnCumbow 3 years ago

      I haven't been to France yet, but my wife and I are going there for a short (11 days) visit later this year. Can't wait for the chance to explore the French food markets!

    • BrianRS profile image
      Author

      Brian Stephens 3 years ago from France

      @JohnCumbow: Have a great trip, I am sure you will have a brilliant time and the French food markets never fail to impress. Great food and mostly locally produced and from the season.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      I can't remember the exact name or place but it was in Brittany. The fish, vegetables, wines, ciders, cheeses - well just about everything really - I do love France. Thanks for a great lens.

    • BrianRS profile image
      Author

      Brian Stephens 3 years ago from France

      @Adventuretravels: The markets are always fabulous, no matter where, plenty of gorgeous food and fresh local produce. Thanks for the comment.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 2 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Thank you for such a wonderful and informative lens. I've always wanted to visit France. Now I know where to stay when I get there -- whenever that may be.

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