Open-air food markets for healthier, seasonal local produce
One of the most pleasant aspects about living on the French Riviera is exploring the open-air food markets. From Mandelieu to Menton, almost every town and village along the coast has its own marché offering an ever-changing variety of just-picked seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, to inspire chefs and foodies alike.
Aside from the novelty, there’s plenty of evidence that eating what the season provides naturally – such as springtime’s abundance of artichokes, asparagus, fava beans, broccoli, spinach, and chive – helps retain the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are vital to our health and best suited for that particular time of year; warming root vegetables in winter, hydrating fruits in summer, detoxing greens and onions in spring.
When it comes to food, we’re used to convenience. Supermarket chains have made almost anything available to us year-round and we take for granted that we can just pick up what we want, when we want. In fact, we’ve become so distanced from our food sources that many of us have little idea where stuff is grown or how it was produced, let alone the effect these things have on our own health and that of the environment.
With numerous markets on the Côte d’Azur, having such a sizeable choice of regionally grown produce at our fingertips means that we have a unique opportunity to develop individual connections with stall vendors – an ideal opportunity to practice your French – and help support neighbouring farmers while contributing to the local economy. This not only helps reinforce a sense of shared community but cuts back also on your personal carbon footprint, as food travels a much shorter distance before it reaches your plate.
And if that isn’t motivation enough to head over to your village market (ask your local tourist offices for details), remember seasonable produce has unequalled flavour and is kinder on the pocketbook.
For other nutrition tips, join The Clever Kitchen’s monthly lunches at Stars’n’Bars in Monaco. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
A market for every day
Antibes - Daily excluding Monday: Cours Massena.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer - Monday, Tuesday, Saturday mornings: Place Général de Gaulle.
Cannes - Daily excluding Monday, mornings: Forville Market and Place Gambetta.
Cannet-Rocheville - Organic, Wednesday mornings: Place del’Aubarede.
Eze - Thursday mornings: Place Colette.
Grasse - Daily excluding Monday, mornings: Place aux Aires.
Mandelieu - Organic, Saturday morning: Place Jeanne d’Arc.
Menton - Every morning: Gare Routière and Port.
Monaco - Every morning: Place d’Armes.
Nice - Daily excluding Monday, mornings: Cours Saleya.
St-Laurent-du-Var - Agri-Bio, Tuesday and Friday: in front of Cap 3000.
Valbonne - Friday mornings: Place des Arcades.
Vence - Daily excluding Monday, mornings: Place Surian.
Villefranche - Saturday morning: Jardin Binon.
Villeneuve-Loubet - Agro-bio Wednesday and Saturday morning: in the village.
Ste Maxime - Daily excluding Monday, mornings: rue Fernand Bessy (summer, daily, all day).
St Raphaël - Daily excluding Monday, mornings: Place Victor Hugo and Place République.
St Tropez - Tuesday and Saturday mornings: Place des Lices.