Market Tour: The Famous Cours Saleya

Nice, France

We like bright pictures and reminders of warmer times during the cold winter. (And it's really cold nearly everywhere right now -- maybe excluding Los Angeles and a few other lucky places!) So here's a sun-drenched look back at our trip last fall through the famous open air market, the Cours Saleya in Nice, France.

The Cours Saleya is a famous open-air market just a block off the beach in Nice's Old Quarter. It's open every day, although on Mondays the vegetables and farmers are replaced by antiques dealers.

Most of the produce here is resold; it's bought wholesale at the airport or port by resellers who bring it to the open market. There are a few local producers, though, who have tables off to the side. (You can see olives and carrots from one of these vendors in the last photograph.)

The most famous part of the Cours Saleya is the flower market; there are rows of fresh flowers and plants covered by brightly striped awnings. But there are also plenty of stands selling fruit, vegetables, sweets, preserves, honey, Provençal soaps, olive oil, cheeses, cured meats, fish, and tourist knickknacks. You've never seen lavender until you've stepped into a Provençal tourist trap!

We were there in November, and some of the most common fruits and vegetables included persimmons (kaki), apples, clementines (with their leaves still on), wax-dipped pears, sweet and seed-filled grapes that tasted like honey, purple artichokes, garlic, leeks, chard, and uncured olives. In some of the photos you can see the round plastic trays the vendors hand you. You fill it up with produce then hand it back to be weighed and counted. It made it easier on us non-French-speakers, too!

One of the most popular booths there carried many different salts and spices, heaped up in gorgeous colored mounds for the shoppers (and tourist cameras).

Click through the thumbnails above for some of our favorite sights and memories of this sunny, beautiful market.

Related: Panisse, Pumpkin, and Duck Magret: French Cooking with Rosa Jackson and Les Petits Farcis

(Images: Faith Durand)

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Farmers' Market Report, Travel

Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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