Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Aix en Provence, Take 2

   With friends in town, we are easily persuaded to do some local touring, so after dropping the younger two off at school, the rest of us piled into the Peugeot, and headed to Aix en Provence. We went there over the summer to see the wonderful impressionist exhibit which was a real treat, but time was not on our side in July, and we did not get to see much of the city outside of the gallery.
   This time, we wandered throughout the old part of Aix, a charming, clean city bubbling with youthful energy as it is home to several universities. It is very international, and if one is short of words in French, everyone speaks English-very well. We started strolling down the Cours Mirabeau, the main tourist drag, which was lined with market vendors with cloths, scarves and other goods. Turn a corner, and there is a food market with gorgeous displays of produce, mushrooms, cheeses, meats, and more. Through a corridor and a lively brocante is taking place, selling, well, stuff.
   Pretty boutiques are tucked into small places along these narrow streets. We have noticed that the French like shoes- gorgeous, expensive shoes. We stuck out like sore thumbs with our Clogs and Converse sneakers. Oh well, at least we can eat like the French do.
   We indulged in a cafe lunch that was not impressive, just expensive. Earlier while at the market, we all shared the most delicious sandwich, but as we wanted to have a real meal, we decided on only a taste of this delight. Oldest Child had suggested we make a meal out of it, and get more than just a taste. The grownups explained our desire for a mature, seated lunch at a cafe. Once again, Oldest Child's suggestion was the best, but we did not listen. The sandwich was made with a good baguette and freshly sliced ham of some sort. Then, the merchant had a raclette melter with a half of a wheel of a mild raclette cheese which was slowly being heated and once bubbling, would be scooped off to make a warm layer on top of the ham in the crusty baguette. It was delicious. With a crisp apple, maybe a small salade verte, it would be the most perfect lunch. We each savored the bite we had, assuming our real meal would be able to stand up to its predecessor. It did not. Some day, I will listen to Oldest Child.
    With Christmas fast approaching, I have shopping on my mind. Aix has wonderful things as so many stored have unique gifts. I was wondering how to sneak some things onto the counter without Oldest Child noticing but that was impossible so now I just have to plan another trip to Aix-en-Provence without any children!

Beautiful display of mushrooms 
You know it is fall in the markets
This is the ham....
Scooping the cheese...oh my God, was it good!
Oldest Child's Octopus Salad
Anchoiade Salade- an anchovy-garlic dip with a sundry of raw and cooked veggies
Fun Looking Cafe-wonder what the interior was like?


No comments: