In the local town of Rouillac, nestled in amongst the Cognac vineyards, the 27th of each month is an important date. For on the 27th, whether it falls on a weekday or weekend and come rain or shine, the whole town becomes a huge market place. This tradition goes back over two hundred years and is likely to have originally been a horse-trading market. Rouillac is situated both on the Voie Agrippa, an ancient east/west route across France linking Lyon with Saintes, and also an important trade route between Brittany and Spain. People still come from miles around (it is BIG in the local calendar) and one of the main attractions now is the poultry, although there are still a few horse sales too as well as everything else you would expect to find at a French market.
|Mucky ducks at Rouillac Market www.frenchvillagediaries.com|
For some time now I have wanted grey speckled hens and with Ade’s permission (he keeps a very tight control over my animal purchases) that was my goal and the search was on. Those seriously looking for a bargain are there very early, but on a cold, wet Sunday we decided a mid morning outing was a better idea, so set off after a coffee and croissant breakfast. The drive down was grey and damp, the Cognac vines, some neatly pruned some still scruffy and twiggy looked bare and wintry. A quick tour around the poultry stands and we found our girls. Wanting 2 or 3 grey speckled hens fate led us to the only stand offering a discount for buying 3 birds, and they just happened to be grey speckled birds – sold to the short lady in mauve! To top it all the weather was dry for our wander around the market where we could have been tempted by all sorts from day old ducklings, to strings of garlic, to huge turkeys (alive), to fish (dead), to sausage and chips (hot) to locally grown kiwi fruits. We did scoop up a bargain on the kiwis as they are full of vitamin C and make a great winter breakfast smoothie with a banana and some natural yoghurt.
|Fifty, Phyl and Kirstie|
The new girls, Fifty (the light grey one), Kirstie (the bold, bossy speckled one) and Phyl (the other one) are settling in well, they haven’t met the others yet, but I hope they will enjoy their free range life in our orchard very soon (and lay us lots of eggs).
|Eggs, all sizes, all colours at Rouillac Market|
|Fish at Rouillac Market|
|Garlic at Rouillac Market|
|Our purchases from Rouillac Market|