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Oct 4, 2012 09:40 PM

French produce in season right now ?

Bon jour. planning to spend a bit of time browsing the Paris markets. in a past life, made thousands of pies from fresh local fruits, and at present much of what goes on our table is grown within 200 km. of our front door, purchased at farmers markets.

how late in the year are French -(outdoor) grown tomatoes picked and eaten ? with French apples around now, what names are the varieties that are crispy and tart ? are other domestic fruit/veg hitting their peak now? as always, merci beaucoup for your kind attention and responses.

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  1. See this table.
    Mushroom is very much in season.
    Muscat grapes, which are in season now, are exceptional this year.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      merci. my query re. pommes was in fact too vague, what was meant, names of indigenous French varieties with outstanding crispness and tartness for eating. it seems that the great majority of apples grown and consumed in France aren't indigenously developed, but the international breeds we see all around, the pernicious delicious et. al. the Braeburn apple, as pleasant to eat as it often is, gets shipped and sold all over the world. since the French cook and make cider from so much of their pomme production, many of the indigenous varieties go for those purposes rather than for eating. will just have to ask the vendors in bad French to taste something that sounds like it might be a native cultivar, which was the plan all along.

      1. re: moto

        Does this mean apple is your sole focus, not fruit in general.

        1. re: Parigi

          nice muscat grapes are fine for me ; mi querida esposa likes an apple everyday and her preferences are narrow. and she ended up with someone who handled, washed, inspected, cored, sliced thousands, and looked at many varieties in markets.

        2. re: moto

          If you buy on markets, it is quite easy to see where apples are produced. It's written on the chalkboard with the price per kilo.

          I never buy shiny, good-looking, calibrated apples. If you see irregular-shaped fruit, go for them. Again, on nearly every Paris market, you can find a stall owned by apple growers from Ile-de-France or Picardie. Also, cider apples and eating apples are different varieties and produced by different growers. There is no causal relationship between one and the other. Finally, many indigenous varieties have now disappeared (thanks EU) but even "imported" varieties, grown in the right place and with proper conditions, can be good and braeburn is no exception. Fuji is better in Asia.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. There are over 1,000 varieties of indigenous apples in France. Most obviously are not readily available.

          In our region I see maybe 20-25 varieties spread over out local markets.

          What I do is to ask the stall holder which variety I should buy for whatever purpose I have in mind; cooking, eating & so forth. Usually this works well. One lady in Limogne market is just great, not only does she tell me what to buy she gives me recipes!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Yank

            merci. you have more varieties available locally than what we see grown in Calif, where heirloom breeds are harder to find than they are in NY or PA. have compiled a short list of some of your indigenous varieties to look for.

            1. re: moto

              Look for Applesource in States, bunch of growers near Wisconsin, have great tart ones like Arkansas black amongst others. Contact me on my info page email re:Septime

              1. re: moto

                Not surprised. I grew up in Northern California and the big local variety was Gravensteins.
                Sebastopol had a big cannery for making applesauce.
                Beyond those there wasn't much choice unless you had friends with apple trees in their gardens.

                The Gravensteins made pretty good cider though.

                1. re: Yank

                  oui, the Gravenstein probably would have faded away to a mere handful of holdout orchards -- only suitable for eating or salads for a very brief time, and stores poorly -- but commercial cider bottling and sauce canning made it economically viable to grow. Martinelli sparkling cider alone supports plenty of growers. Sebastopol now has a very good small farmer's market on Sundays, and parts of its surrounding area are still in a time warp of bohemian utopianism.