Friday, October 17, 2008

The Heart Is Where the Food Is

The city of Lyon, France, may not have the "bling" of Paris, but what it lacks I could easily live without. Lyon was stop #1 for J and I on our recent 2 week vacation. This was our second trip to France (Trip #1 was chronicled extensively HERE on eGullet) and it was our hope that as seasoned travellers, we'd be able to delve a little deeper into the French culture ... which of course means food.

Whenever we travel abroad we stay in apartments rather than hotels. This gives us the chance to live more like the locals. We explore the neighbourhood we've moved into, check out markets and such. In Lyon, our partment on Place Jacobin was only 4 blocks from Marché St. Antonie. Everyday the market lined the riverside with a terrific assortment of produce, cheeses, meats, seafood... everything you could hope for in a market.

Probably my favorite part of a French market is the variety of prepared foods. Don't feel like cooking? We have that covered! Roasted chickens on incredible rotisseries that are built into small trucks.

Many resourceful roasters would also place potatoes in the bottom, allowing them to roast and soak up all the chicken drippings! Traitteurs offered a myriad of premade dishes ... potatoes dauphinoise, ratatouille ... cous cous salads and roasted bell peppers ... paté and terrines ... gateaux et baguettes!  So even though the opportunities are there to cook like a chef, there is also the opportunity to let the pros do it for you.

Being on holidays however often means sleeping in, so if I were to tell you we shopped here every day, I'd be lying. Many days we missed the best parts of the market, but we always manages to plan ahead and wake early on those days we REALLY needed food. Even if we were late, a small something from the pre-made vendors usually found its way home with us.

My friend Lucy (you can visit her blog by clicking the link over in the right column) was a huge help in preparing for this trip. Her blog told us about the markets and other stores in Lyon that we'll be visiting in future entries. Mid-week, she took us to the "Producer's Market" in Place Carnot. All the food here is sold by the producers themselves. Want to know what that rabbit you're about to cook had for its last supper? This is the place.

One of the other reasons we take apartments is the kitchen. I can cook ... and in Lyon that means an amazing opportunity. During the week I had gathered some wonderful Roma tomatoes, herbs (from Provence ... no joke) and some amazing chevre. Combined with the porkiest sausage I have ever eaten I whipped up a nice little pasta dish which we enjoyed with a bottle of Cote du Rhone.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Arne, I am so happy that you enjoyed your trip to Lyon! Loic and I were also very happy to met you and Janine!


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