If you told the 10-year-old me that, at 20, I would delight in taking pictures of vegetables, I suspect I would have dismissed you as crazy.
That or sunken into a deep depression.
But 10-old-me never visited the marché.
Early on Sunday mornings, the market near the Saône is alive. Vendors yell out prices; people hurry, clutching flowers and fruit and dodging raindrops. Rotisserie chickens spin, smelling good enough to make a vegetarian change her ways. There are big bowls of tangy olives, little jars of foie gras, produce in every color and shape, stuff you’ve never heard of. There are cases of cheese…cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk…in thick wedges or in thin slices or in small circles. There are enormous pans of warm paella, neat rows of colorful macarons, salami for the tasting.
With an appetite and a couple euros in your pocket, it’s paradise.
So when I visited recently, of course I took photos. I got a few. Not nearly as many as I wanted, but that was the price to pay for fitting in. Subtlety. Because ‘bonjour madame, can I take a picture of your cauliflower’ is not a question I’m going to be asking anytime soon.
I picked out a few things to cook with over the week, and others just because. It was satisfying to carefully choose each item, based, sometimes, on the vendor’s opinion. Inspecting the fruits and vegetables before gently putting each one in my bag had almost storybook charm, little Red Riding Hood sans (let’s hope) big bad wolf.
I came home with a Baggu full of food which I promptly put on the charmingly-tiled floor and began photographing.
It fascinates Florent when I do this and he chuckles and begins taking pictures of me, as if I’m a rare exotic bird with hands and a camera. I think he wonders if it’s an American thing or just a Jessica thing.
Like usual, I told him it’s simply my joie de vivre (and to stop laughing, s’il te plaît).
He wins this round.
But the point is, the market is beautiful.