The Tuesday morning market in Annecy begins early and finishes promptly at noon in the old quarter. Food only! It’s a market similar to all the others in Europe with the only difference. The ambiance of the surroundings. Set along narrow streets and over canal bridges, it was extremely crowded with the locals doing their weekly shopping…assured of buying the freshest ingredients and tourists noshing away on the free samples, picking up picnic lunches and eating irresistible foods, even if they weren’t hungry. Baby vegetables, pork brochettes…View image, fruit (large cherries), chicken spinning on the rotisserie, small wineries (no samples, unfortunately)…View image, trout sausage….View image, it just went on and on and on.
We also passed a gourmet deli with the most wonderful looking take-away food. I almost went into a food orgasm looking at the different varieties, some of which I’d never seen. Took a pass on the more “esoteric” samples, e.g. brains and “bunny foo-foo.”
We wove in and out of the crowds for blocks getting hungrier by the minute. Although we had just eaten a huge breakfast, it didn’t take long to get into the “feed me” mode and snarf down samples of sausages, local cheese and finish with an ice cream cone. Very bad us!
It appeared as if all locals and visitors walked around eating “something” at all times but the favorite was always Italian ice cream purchased from one of the many shops situated on the numerous pedestrian-only by-ways that weave the city and river together. Always look for the sign saying – “artisanale” – made by proprietor – for the yummiest and most flavorful ice cream. I must admit that one day I did misorder and chose “Cassis” that turned out to taste exactly like a spoonful of Welch’s Grape Jelly. It was “yucky.”
If ice cream doesn’t do it for you, buy a brioche (sweet roll) and/or other goodies to be found at the boulangeries (bakeries) in town…View image.
Finished browsing the Tuesday market (don’t miss it and by now it was lunchtime) and filled to the brim, we walked along Le Thiou River looking to see what other people were eating in the restaurants. Bowls of mussels with frites. One restaurant had a glorious, gigantic salad with tuna…View image…and everything but the kitchen sink in it. Pizza and more ice cream stands. Also, gauffres (waffles) and the big speciality in Annecy that I had to try, Tartiflette. Described as potatoes with bacon, melted cheese over it, usually served with a salad.
Five o’clock by now and we were hungry. Again. It’s not easy finding a restaurant that begins serving dinner before 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. the earliest. By process of elimination, we selected one along the embankment that served from the entire menu all day. I ordered the Tartlfette with a small salad. Tartiflette is made with Reblochon Cheese from the Savoie region. Reblochon Cheese came into being in the 13th century and is made with raw and full-fat milk at least once a day. It has a nutty flavor, yellow or orangey-yellow crust which is covered with a fine white mold after maturing for 2-3 weeks. Tartifette tasted like a combination of potatoes au gratin (but much cheesier) and Raclette, without the work of melting the cheese and spreading it on boiled potatoes. It’s g-o-o-d! Give it a try when you visit Annecy.
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