Sunday, December 12, 2010

To market, to market

Ken and I went to the market on Saturday. We wanted to order a bird for our Christmas dinner. We weren't sure what kind of bird we wanted. We had narrowed it down to two: une pintade (a guinea fowl) or une dinde (a turkey). It all depended on the sizes available and the cost per kilo.

On the left, a capon. On the right, a goose. The heads are left on so you know what you're buying.

What we knew beforehand, however, was that we wanted to order our bird from the volailler we've come to know and trust at the Saturday market: Chez Malbran. So we lined up and asked the appropriate questions. The turkey was about seven and a half euros a kilo. That was my upper limit for turkey, since guinea fowl was five euros twenty per kilo. The woman at the counter said we could get a small turkey, between three and four kilos. That was fine, so we ordered one.

We'll pick up the bird on Christmas Eve in Montrichard, a town about twenty minutes from us. That's where the poultry vendor will be on Christmas Eve. Not in our town. You do have to figure out where the vendors will be on which day, especially when there will be holidays involved.


  1. Err, they could use labels.

  2. Oddly, we don't see heads on poultry much anymore here in Aveyron. It's a bit surprising given that it is a very rural area. Maybe outside of Rodez they keep up that tradition...

  3. I prefer the label and wrapped in plastic, thank you very much.

  4. Wow, that is SOME photo! Very French. Next stop: big screen in Ms Chabot's classroom :))

    We'll all be hoping for more views... Montrichard market photo when you buy Mr. Dinde, just-about-ready-for-the-oven Mr. Dinde, and Dinde-à-table-Christmas-Day :))

    Rue du Four :) I guess there's one in every town? Did they really lead to a public four back in the day?


  5. You could have sent Callie out back for a pheasant or guinea hen and saved yourself a lot of driving and waiting in line.

  6. When you have to work that hard for your meal, it tastes even better.

  7. And now I have one more good, solid reason why I'm a vegetarian.

  8. Love the capon's head! Glad you found a suitable turkey.

  9. Isn't it funny how squeamish Americans can be about stuff like this?

  10. Love shopping at Markets and we have wonderful ones here in ne Ohio. My favorite are in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I'm not really squeamish but I remember being a little afraid when I was about three years old, at my grandfather's brother's farms, when they chopped the head off a chicken and it hopped around headlessly for far too long........Should I be thanking you for bringing back old memories?

    I do love seeing the pictures of your French markets.

  11. we fancied trying a goose for once
    but we will have a capon.

  12. andrew, :) They do use labels in the supermarkets... Leaving the heads on in the markets is just they way they do things. I think it comes from wanting their customers to think them honest, that they wouldn't try to sell one thing and call it another.

    betty, that is interesting. I thought volaillers always did it this way.

    rick, they take the heads and feet off and wrap in in paper, then in a plastic bag, before they hand it over to the customer.

    judy, if the weather's good, I'll take the camera to Montrichard. And yes, in this case, the street led to the four banal, or public oven.

    tom, now why didn't I think of that? ;)

    stephen, the poultry guy does all the hard work. ;)

    alewis, more for us!!

    evelyn, the last turkey we got from them was excellent, so we're hoping for a repeat.

    starman, I suppose it's just a matter of what you're used to.

    kristi, the killing would be the hardest part for me, but I'm not squeamish about the dead animal.

    michael, we roasted a goose last year.

  13. Maybe we don't have so many pure "volaillers..."


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