With the fridge nearly empty – seems impossible with all the food we’ve been buying –we decided to make the effort and check out the Wednesday market in Beaune. Markets generally close by 12 or 1pm, so if you have any kind of drive to get there you need to get up and get going. David Downie in Food Wine Burgundy mentions Beaune’s “small” Wednesday market, but fails to indicate just how small. Inside, two meat purveyors huddled together like cows in the vast empty market hall. This is a market I could have skipped and instead lazed around enjoying that second cup of coffee.
In front of the market hall, with more specialty vendors, such as truffle oil, honey, brightly colored baskets and knives, than purveyors of good produce, it’s much more of a tourist market than a place locals shop. And since the tourist season doesn’t start rocking until July, at the end of June the market was dead, looking as pathetic as the vegetables for sale. Honestly, a reasonably good selection of produce but not the quality French markets are known for. We left having bought only one small round of chèvre.
Disappointed but not deterred, we look for a grocery store. Just outside of Beaune and the A6 interchange we find a Grand Frais marché, a chain of supermarkets with mostly all fresh ingredients – great produce selection, wide range of meat and poultry including Bresse chicken, cheese and bakery items. The limited selection of prepackaged items trends towards specialty items, such as Camargue rice, or organic products. A great place to shop when the market doesn’t produce.
For links to all the posts in this series see the Burgundy page.