Mulled Wine helps fight the freezing Mistral
So there was mulled wine (generously offered by the local winegrowers and much needed to fight the freezing gusts of Mistral) plus a few art and craft stalls but what this mornings Christmas Market in Vacqueras really showed was that come Christmas time what interests the true Provençal is "la grande bouffe" (politely translated: big dinners).
Shopping for oysters: Father Christmas
And this is what he bought
We met Father Christmas at the oyster stall, discussed the price of truffles - 980 Euros a kilo at a stall that advertised them as "washed and brushed" and 320 Euros at another stall where they didn't look all that dirty either. Selling truffles unwashed, i.e. adding expensive grams of caked dirt to the precious tuber is a well tried trick of Provençal truffle merchants.
Somewhat expensive but clean truffles
Christmas dinner suggestion: Stuffed duck legs
So instead of stocking up on truffles - that will have to wait until after the holidays when the price goes down - we admired Santons, the typical Provençal figurines that populate the "crèche" - the nativity scene. I especially liked this truffle hunter:
Guarding the Wine
Driving home we met yet another Father Christmas. This one was guarding the entrance to the Vacqueras winery, probably in preparation to a night shift of stuffing stockings. I sure wouldn't mind receiving one of those!