Approaching the Quimper market
I got to know the little cows breed Bretonne Pie Noir, kind of pony size, but this was not the only interesting encounter I had at the outdoor market in Quimper in Bretagne (Brittany).
Already approaching the market was pleasant, as we passed by a little barrage at the “Le Steir” river. This sight transferred me immediately into a different mood, away from modern life with all its technologies right into an old days ambiance.
But the market is not about the past, it was about great products. Lots of vegetables and fruit, artisan cheeses, dairy, meat and sausages, some bread and pastry. All the classic basics one needs for a cuisine of love at home. The market just exuded pleasure of life, people appreciating food not only of a means to survive and going for the best what nature and farmers have to offer. This is what I like about markets and what carries me away into the greatness this planet is able to provide.
Talking to producers
It is always nice at a market when a producer has time to tell about his life, craft and products. Often they are very busy, but when the moment is right the poor person is bombarded with my questions. And most of the time the market people are happy to share stories beyond the usual ones. I guess it is the same as with most humans. The owner of La Ferme de Kerdelliou had a bit of time for me.
The gentleman is producing milk and dairy products on his own farm, which to my surprise he only started a couple years ago. It baffles me very time when I see an adult becoming a farmer. When I was young I worked in agriculture to make some money during school vacation. I like the work, but it is also a very hard one, rarely making one become rich. This is why have a deep respect for farmers, especially when they have superb products to offer.
Beforehand he was working in different jobs related to agriculture, e.g. promoting the links between urban and agricultural population, or educating kids. Then he seized the opportunity to get a farm and is now having a dozen cows of the Bretonne Pie Noir which look like the classic “black and white” milk cows but are much smaller, kind of pony size. There are only a few herds of this breed left worlwide. According to Wikipedia only 15 000. So I am happy to see that somebody is supporting to agricultural diversity, it enriches food culture and makes it more interesting.
He likes the quality of their milk which is higher in fat and protein in comparison to the ones of traditional breeds. He produces a nice variety of dairy products on in his farm house. If you look on his Facebook profile you will get a good impression. I got a glass of Quark (fresh cheese in English?), it had a very nice taste, not as bland as I am used to when getting it from a supermarket.
The only Hipster stall
I visited a few markets in France. From what I saw they never seem to adapt to a Hipster culture with their demand for new types of (processed) foods. But one guy, the one with the tiniest stall at the market (see photo gallery on top) was selling Korean foods like Kimchi with the claim “Eat Korean, live well”. He is married to a Korean which made him want to sell such home made products in the market. A nice addition to the overall choice, even though I am not sure how successful the couple is.
The weird stuff
Markets are often a place to discover some unknown foods. So was the “Tourteau fromagé” a round pastry based on fresh goat cheese. The top side is kind of burnt, thus black, reminding me somehow of a naval mine. But the inside is very soft and fluffy, a bit sweet. Quite an unusual pastry, but worth a purchase as it tastes nice. Still the look is unique.
What did I buy?
Well, the market provided many temptations. As usual the eyes are bigger than the stomach, but this time my ratio was stronger. Very tasty heritage tomatoes, went into the basket as well as other vegetables. Furthermore a beautiful cheese “Le Ramoneur” very ripe almost remembering a bit a blue cheese in taste. Sausages of course. The Tourteau fromagé went directly into the stomach, the above mentioned Quark served us for a couple days. My my stomach was very pleased.
In Quimper there is also a larger market hall, so it was about time to head this direction. But the time spent on the market was truly worth it.
All in all: The market in Quimper delivers pleasant moments, quality produce and interesting producers. A joy to be there, pure happiness. Also for the little cow breeder.
A little link list:
- The Quimper tourisme site with all the markets of the city (French)
- The Facebook page of the cow breeder – La Ferme de Kerdelliou
- The Facebook page of the Korean stall – Matin Calme (calm morning)
- My other posts on French markets