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Facts about French markets

  • The market, as a source of fresh food as well as other products, is an integral part of France's culture, history and tradition. 
  • Most towns and large villages hold markets once a week; but in larger towns, markets may take place twice a week, or even every day.
  • Typical French market stalls offer local produce often straight from the farm including fruit and vegetables, cheeses and other local produce/products. Even in Paris, fruit and vegetable markets can be found in every district of the city.
  • Other speciality markets include antique or brocante markets as well as flee markets many of which are found in Paris.
  • Markets are usually open and outdoor in the town square; however, most French towns also have covered markets (marché couvert often called Les Halles), which are a permanent structure, occupied by an array of market stalls.
  • A few markets, notably specialised markets, are very well known including the flea market at the Porte de Clignancourt in Paris, the flower market in Nice, the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, the olive markets in Provence, the fish market round the old port in Marseille, wine markets in Bordeaux, truffle markets in the Perigord and gastronomic markets in Perigueux.
  • The largest markets in provincial France are often known as fairs (foires) and are usually held once or twice a year eg the international antique foire (largest outside Paris) held in Isle sur la Sorgue at Easter and mid August.

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