“Le marche de Martigny” – What a day!

August 19th, 2011 | Posted by greg in Daily life... | Travel

Walking down the food market of Martigny, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, (also on Twitter!), the town I spent most of my youth at and where I did my bakery apprenticeship was truly remarkable.

While living there, you bath in all these delicacies and don’t really bother. All the food is taken for granted and when someone points out a stunning sheep milk cheese to you, you’re like “yeah…. whatever…” But going back on vacation and visiting it makes you spend half of your day at the market and walking up and down the street many times as you plan your meals.

The point with shopping on street market is that if you start buying right away from the first wild blueberries you meet, you’re most likely to find another insanely good fruit on the very next stand and eventually end up with tons of food!

Country bread baked in wood fire oven always is very popular at the market. I remember at least 15 years ago, the same baker was selling the same bread at the same place on the market – and as you can see people there wants their bread dark… very dark. If the breads are pale and without crust, the baker will sell nothing! The amount of cured meat, sausages and cheese is just insane!

Every other stands sells it and claim to be better than the others – I love it! People at the market are passionate artisans. For most, they are the actual producer of the goods and you can really tell when you come face-to-face with them that they put their heart into their work. People take time to live, take time to cook and enjoy the simple things in life.

“Serac” cheese is a fresh cheese that resemble ricotta, made from the whey leftover from cheese making (as shown in someone’s book!). With a pinch of rock salt from the near town of Bex, cold cuts and a glass of rosé makes the perfect lunch!

The mushroom season was in full swing and we were truly spoiled with the best freshly picked mushroom from the nearby forest!

The selection of cheeses made in the area was stunning! The one I particularly loved was the one made from ‘alpage’ milk, which means the cows were milked while being high up in the mountain pastures. The cheese gains a certain flavor and if you close your eyes you can smell the mountain farm around you, truly!

One of the greatest classic on the market was the 24 months Gruyere. A rare occurrence in supermarket, but a common one on the market. Natural crystals of salt give it that crunchy bite and the taste is just out of this world! But on that day, I had to fall for another cheese for lunch… Fresh goat cheese faisselle: it was available and I couldn’t resist!

A few slices of smoked ham from the Gruyere region, a goat cheese faisselle with a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper made the perfect lunch on that day. Together we had a salad from our garden with tons of fresh herbs and beautiful Cappucine flowers!

St-Bernard dogs were being walked up and down the market by their keepers to entertain and give a local flair. These guys are so friendly and so popular, they almost need bodyguards! But no wonder since this is the original birth place of St-Bernard dogs!

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19 Responses

  • Living with a food market like this, I guess everyone is a good chef :)

  • What fantasic photos. The bread cooked in the wood fired oven Yum!

  • Judy Louey says:

    What a gorgeous array of fresh produce and foodstuff!!..  bonne vacance, Chef Michaud

  • Thomas Weber says:

    After 13 years in the U.S. your pictures are making me homesick.


    PS: J’ai grandi à Sierre

    • Gregoire Michaud says:

      Ah! We’re in a similar case then, what a small world :)
      I also was working in the US 13 years ago :) but then travelled quite a bit!

      Le retour en Valais fait du bien!

  • Spencer says:

    Everything looks gorgeous!  Those blueberries!!!  I think it’s time to make blueberry pancakes!  Look at the variety of mushrooms they have there!!  I think there are 14 varieties of mushroom in that one stall!!  The carrots look nice!  The green figs are arranged nicely!!  The cheeses look wonderful!!  The people like their breads on the dark side?  I want to go back to your Sourdough III blog entry and take one of those small baguettes and take a thin slice of Gruyere (from above) and a thin slice of the smoked ham (from above) and make a sandwich!!!  That would be heaven!!!  So, did you buy anything from the market to make a special meal at home?

    • Yes, when you walk down the market, you want to eat everything! We could have made awesome sandwich like you’ve mentioned, but for lunch we had the goat faisselle with ham and homemade baked bread and for the evening, we had a mushroom, mascarpone and gorgonzola risotto (all the the market)!

      I gained plenty of weight while being there! :)

  • OMG………… a farmer’s market…… it would be a dream for me to live near one. look at all that local produce!!!  i bet the aged Gruyere tasted real awesome.

    speaking of local produce, do you get imports of Fraises des bois in HK? I’ve never seen them here in Singapore and dying to know what they taste like.

    • Very right, the Gruyere tasted great!
      We occasionally have fresh wild strawberries in HK – they come from Spain and is the same producer that supplies a lot of Paris best patisserie and hotels. However, the 13 hours trip to HK is not treating them well. They are very sensitive and as soon as we receive them we need to use them.

  • B-birardet says:

    Magnifique ! merci pour les couleurs  valaisannes !!

  • Jergra says:

    Yeah, that’s Switzerland, a lovely place in August! Next year we meet!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow ! je commence seulement à explorer votre blog! et je me suis inscrite sous le pseudo Bee18 (au lieu de Bea2003) que j’use à TFL. Les photos vous donnent l’eau à la bouche. Comment ne pas vouloir tout dévorer! L’Australie est accueillante mais je regrette la France et les pays autour. C’est en revenant de France fin 2008 que je me suis lancée dans l’aventure du pain. Je ne pouvais plus supporter le pain Australien. Et bien sûr les marchés ouverts…. Heureusement que les immigrants d’asie ont introduit leur culture cuisinière ici, maintenant on peux acheter toutes les herbes possibles pour faire sa salade. Il y a aussi quelques fromages importés (à prix d’or) et quelques rares bons fromages produit ici.

    • Merci mille fois pour vos commentaires Beatrice! :) 
      Je pensais que la scene boulangere Australiene aurait ete de meilleur qualite… et pour les produits frais et fromage aussi? Je ne connais pas du tout, mais c’est quand meme une surprise! :)

      En tout cas bravo pour votre devotion et votre bon pain!

  • Finayang says:

    How can people immigrate to your home town?

  • Pingback: Can you pronounce “Schiacciata”? - Gregoire Michaud

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