Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Market day in Amboise - Part 2

After a short interruption to report on important local news, it's time to return to Amboise Market ...

For our personal consumption we bought three cheeses: a St. Nectaire, a Comté and a Coeur de Neufchâtel. On the way back, we saw a young couple, huddled together under under a large garden umbrella. They were shivering and looking profoundly unhappy. They were selling some rustic loaves of bread, some of which were made of spelt. As I had written a blog post on spelt bread not so long ago, I thought it would make a nice addition to our BBQ. While we were paying, B. noticed a sign saying that the young baker’s shop was located in the village where B. and J.L. have their holiday home. Even better, they were neighbours. The young man explained that the shop was only open on Tuesday and Friday night. The bread was all ‘artisanal’. On Saturday they did a special batch for Sunday’s market in Amboise.

I admired the young couple for their initiative and drive. Moreover, the bread looked and smelled really good. An impression that was confirmed later that day when we ate some of the ‘baguette artisanal’ and the spelt bread we bought. However, the young couple could have done with some marketing advice or training. They looked so innocent and unsure of themselves. They were like two little brown mice, hiding behind their improvised counter, hardly looking people and potential customers in the eye. They looked cute enough but their body language was completely wrong: hands in pockets, hunched shoulders … or maybe it were simply because they were cold. I sincerely hope their business venture will work out and that by next year people will be queuing to buy their delicious produce.

Shoes and the Loire in the background ...

Laden with our goodies, we ‘fought’ our way back to the entrance, or should that be exit. I say ‘fought’ because the market was really crowded. At some point we stayed put for well over two minutes because there was just no getting through. When we finally reached the spot where the woman with the goat was standing, J.L. approached her and said: ‘I promised you I would be back.’ She looked slightly startled, but quickly regained her wit when he asked how much the bonbons were. Three card board boxes in cling film cost 15 euros. A round metal box, containing probably half the quantity cost 30 euros. When J.L. said he’d take the three cardboard ones, the woman immediately produced her most seductive smile and said: ‘If you give me 30 euros, I’ll throw in the metal box (filled with bonbons) for free, on top of the three others.’

Luckily B. came to the rescue, saying that she only had 15 euros left after our visit to the market. I don’t know whether it was true, but it worked, and the woman let us go without insisting any further. When we looked back, we noticed that she was already busy ‘working’ another potential customer …

By then the sun had come out and temperatures were becoming quite pleasant. Pleasant enough to have an aperitif alfresco at ‘Le Château’, the bar at the foot of the castle.

Did I mention I also bought a pair of shoes at the market?


chm said...

A very eclectic choice of cheeses.

Those so-called bonbons seem extremely expensive!

Craig said...

Browsing around such a market is such a lovely experience. I hope that the young bakers learn some marketing skills soon - it's a tough world out there!
Your cheese choices sound perfect.

VirginiaC said...

I knew you wouldn't be able to resist the shoes at the market!

Nadege said...

French open air markets are fun, not only for the food but also for clothes, shoes, table wear... Jean Luc and B seem like a very nice couple. I am sure you had fun traveling with them.

Jean said...

Your post reminds me that we must visit Amboise market again, if only to find the spelt bread !!

ladybird said...

Chm, Yes, they were a real rip-off ... But J.L. wanted to keep his promise.

Craig, Add a Selles-sur-Cher goat's cheese to that (which we bought at Intermarché on Sunday) and it was the almost perfect cheese platter. Depending on what you like, of course.

Virginia, You see right through me. LOL!

Nadege, They are very pleasant and fun travelling companions. No complains from this girl!

Jean, Did you try it at the BBQ? I thought it was delicious. Unfortunately they didn't have any left when we dropped in on Friday night before returning to Belgium.