The second part of our blog to explore things to do and see in the Vaucluse will take us shopping and to try out the wonderful food to be found in the region. The Vaucluse is full of great market towns and villages with outstanding food markets selling the very best of the local produce. By the same token, if you want to sample this cuisine prepared in typical local ways, then why not indulge in a gastronomic journey of your own. We start our journey in Avignon and wander around one of its most famous markets, Les Halles.
If you like wandering around markets and looking at the local produce and crafts on offer, then whilst in Avignon take advantage of heading to Les Halles. The covered market at Les Halles is open every day except Monday, there you will be able to see over forty local traders selling the very best produce of Provence. French markets are the heartbeat of the countryside, and Les Halles is a perfect example. Local fresh produce such as vegetables, fruit, wine, flowers and much more are all available, at superb prices. Also, visitors can admire the awesome vertical garden above the market that was designed by French botanist Patrick Blanc, which is certainly an original sight to see decorating a market.
Wine & Dine
Provence is known around the world as a gastronomic paradise, it offers regional and robust cuisine that utilizes the best local produce that is seasonally available. Vaucluse cuisine is dependent on the seasons, what is available at a particular time of year. It is a simple theory and the oldest way of cooking, it also provides the freshest ingredients to put on the plate. Provencal dishes are often rustic, simple dishes made of few ingredients and simply prepared. This is the beauty of Provencal food, it celebrates the ingredients, perhaps a delicious vegetable dish featuring a key ingredient in season. Or a hearty cassoulet or sausage stew, with a deep rich tomato sauce.
The towns and villages of the Vaucluse have many simple cafes and restaurants just waiting to be explored, there is no need to pay the prices of fancy restaurants. Often the best food served in Vaucluse is served in the small, family run establishments. Just order the Plats de Jour and you will enjoy the dish of the day made and prepared daily with what ingredients are available locally.
Visit an Olive Mill
Provence makes some delicious olive oil and the region has many beautiful olive groves, a different and rather delightful day out is to spend the day visiting an olive mill. Producing olive oil is an ancient art, with many old processes still adopted today. A visit to an olive mill is to take a journey back in time, to learn about the fruit and the oil that is pressed. Leaning about first, second and third pressings and the difference between Virgin olive oil and any other is most interesting, and you can see it is a labor of love. These ideas how to spend your time in Vaucluse are just a glimpse of all the great and unusual things to do in this marvelous corner of France. The best way to find out about more great pastimes is to visit.