Sunday, December 12, 2010

Vacqueras' Christmas Market or "La grande Bouffe"

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:

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!


  1. Such a wonderful array of merchandise and ideas at this market.

  2. The oysters and the stuffed duck legs. I would so enjoy sitting down to a table with this being served. We truly miss the wonderful French food. Now, to wait until June!!

  3. It looks so tasty even not cooked. I hope to find some "reasonably" priced truffles to enjoy when we are there in a couple of weeks and to bring back to California to serve for a special dinner at Bistro Des Copains. Happy Holidays.