While the sun never absconds from the region, January is often the dreariest and coldest month in Provence. The mistral wind can pick up and last for days in a row. A cold snap can come through and freeze the ground overnight (although snow remains a very rare proceeding). One of the magical things about living Provence remains the market.
Each village has a faithful weekly market (or twice a week) and larger towns like Aix-en-Provence have a daily market all year round. The French are still dedicated to shopping on a quotidian basis and chart the seasonality of food with exigence.
It is a pleasure to go au marché with a French friend and pick their brain on what they might be inspired to cook based on what is on display at the market. If January can be slightly more drab than the other months of the year, the market's vibrancy never disappoints.
Unlike many other markets around the world, the winter fruit and vegetable market in Aix-en-Provence thrives even during the colder months. Thanks to the region's mild Mediterranean climate, local farmers are able to grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
At the market, you'll find an impressive array of seasonal delights, including juicy oranges, tangy lemons, crisp apples, and succulent pears. The vibrant colors and enticing aromas will transport you to a world of culinary delights.
As you stroll through the market, you'll have the opportunity to interact with the friendly farmers and learn about their farming practices. They are always happy to share their knowledge and provide tips on selecting the best fruits and vegetables. They often share recipes if you ask how to prepare a specific type of mushroom or vegetable.
The market also offers a wide range of other local products, such as artisanal cheeses, freshly baked bread, aromatic herbs, and fragrant spices. It's the perfect place to stock up on ingredients for a delicious meal.