Over on my “nowhere else to post, so it goes here” blog I have been posting some photographs from a trip I made to Normandy in the 1990s including visiting Honfleur and Caen.
I don’t recall which year I went, but one of my overwhelming memories of that trip, was a visit to the local market in Cane and the smell of tomatoes. You could smell them from some distance away from the stall.
I remember thinking how on earth did these tomatoes actually smell of tomatoes, it certainly wasn’t like the bland ones you got from supermarkets in England at the time. My memory of buying tomatoes from my local supermarket was that you had the choice of one kind, they all looked the same, they were all the same size and they tasted of, to be honest, nothing. Today you do have a lot more choice and I certainly try and buy tomatoes for their flavour.
Even today I have never found an English market come close to those that I found in Normandy on that trip. Certaiinly the Italian markets I visited at the same kind of time were similar, full of fresh produce.
There were things there that you would never find in the British markets (or supermarkets) at the time, but things have changed. There was vegetables and fruit that I had never heard of. As we were staying in a hotel I didn’t actually buy anything from the market, but I was so tempted…
I wonder if these markets still exist? If they do, are they much different from what I saw back then?
One thing we have much more now in the UK than we had back then are local farmers’ markets, full of local produce and great stuff you can get there too.