t's nearly impossible to leave the marché without succumbing to the temptation to buy at least a few small bags of olives.

There are two huge olive vendors along the main arcades as well as several smaller vendors scattered throughout the marché. The largest olive vendor at this marché offers at least 35 different flavors of green and black varieties, in sizes ranging from jumbo greens to small black niçoise. A small sampling of the many flavors you'll find includes:

Basil
Bay leaf
Fennel
Lemon
Pistachio
Mint
Piquant (chili peppers)
Garlic
Water-cured
Parsley
Tahitian, etc., etc.,etc.

Cured olives are a provençal specialty and the people in Provence and along the Côte d'Azur are nuts about olives! Olives are everywhere. In a typical provençal home, a bowl of olives is set on the table along with salt and pepper as a standard condiment and cocktails are often just olives and a glass of chilled rosé or champagne. Olives are used to make tapenade and are put into country stews to add piquantness. No wonder curing olives has reached such a high state of the art in this region!

Like cheese, olives should be bought from a vendor you trust because the quality can vary considerably. We find many olives have been cured using too much salt for our taste and others lack flavor even though they may look appealing. Also like the cheese vendors, the olive vendors encourage prospective customers to taste several varieties to find ones that suit their taste. Have fun exploring the olive world at this marché. Sample the many varieties that are available until you find one that you like. Chances are you'll leave the marché with at least a few bags!

 

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