This morning Joshua and I must have been half asleep when we tried to go to the St. Tropez market on a Thursday morning.  We got to town only to discover that it was not market day, the open air market in the Place des Lices happens on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  Not ones to be defeated, we stopped off at the organic store, loaded up on coconut water and hiked ourselves up the hill to Ramatuelle to see if the market was on there.  Ramatuelle has to be one of the most breathtaking little villages in France, well known for the festival of Ramatuelle each August, brining celebrities from around France for live performances of theater and music in a beautiful setting.

Each Thursday and Sunday, vendors come from around the region to Ramatuelle to sell food, garments and accessories, mostly to tourists.

I must say it was a little bit of a dissapointment.  We were suprised that there were only three or four produce vendors.  The produce was underwhelming and not local, mostly goods from Provence such as salads and fruits, but nothing like the delicious produce we have seen from Fréjus that is sold at the St. Tropez market.

street of ramatuelle during market on thursday

Ramatuelle open air market

However we were delightfully surprised to find one organic producer selling his produce from nearby Solliès-Pont, a city between Hyéres and Toulon.  Specialists in figs, the farmer explained the origins of the violet fig and how the city of Solliès obtained the coveted A.O.C label “Figs from Solliès”.  We were sold, and bought a crate of the organic figs, getting excited to get home and pair the figs with some of the prosciutto we bought in Ventimiglia last Tuesday.

Once we got home Joshua began to prepare the figs to serve with basil and the prosciutto.  Much to our chagrin, the figs were not very tasty.  Early July is way ahead of the fig season (our trees at home are just budding) so I guess this was to be expected.  However, Joshua found a delicious way to serve them.  He whipped up an arugula salad with balsamic dressing, and sliced up an amazing tasting melon we bought at the market to surround our young figs.  We topped this off with shavings of the 24 month reggiano parmesan we picked up in Ventimiglia on Monday.

Lessons learned:  Don’t let yourself be stopped from serving fruit that did not live up to your expectations.  Instead, you can shore them up with tasty staples you have around your kitchen.  The more fresh, quality ingredients you have on hand at home, the easier it is to spruce up less spectacular ones.

Ramatuelle Market:

Ramatuelle, France

Tuesday and Sundays from 7am to 2pm, during the summer months


Figs, Roquette and Melon Salad

Six figs (preferable in full season and ripe)

Four handfulls of Arugula or any other spicy green (we used French Roquette)

One ripe melon, sliced

Shaved Reggiano Parmesan to taste


 Website for producer of AOC Figs from Solliés

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