Let's visit a market with special Spit Cake! | 山区集市&树形蛋糕
Hey everyone, it's MarketFriday again! This time, let's visit a lively open-air market in Saint-Lary-Soulan, a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées of France.
Located by the French-Spanish border, next to the Pyrénées National Park and Le Néouvielle Nature Reserve, Saint-Lary-Soulan is not only a ski and spa hotspot but also a great base for activities like hiking and biking. I did some hikes in the nearby mountains in summer years ago and happened to see this market taking place on Saturday.
The market was set amid the characteristic stone houses and surrounded by misty mountains, offering a wide range of fresh produce, deli food, handmade crafts as well as clothes and accessories.
Here, you can find regional specialties such as black Bigorre pork, frog legs, dry-cured Fuet sausage of Catalan origin, Garbure stew from the Pyrénées consisting mainly of white Tarbais beans, cabbage and preserved goose or duck simmered on low heat.
The handmade soap and the Basque-style beret also caught my attention. I read that Berets are actually the traditional headgear of Aragonese and Navarrian shepherds from the Pyrenees valleys.
Some products might not look so refined or delicate as in fancier city markets, but I truly enjoyed the warm atmosphere and hospitality here. Everyone we talked to was genuinely friendly and helpful, often with a big smile on their face. It's something which made that Pyrénées trip especially unforgettable, aside from its stunning mountain and lake sceneries.
I liked how some vendors showed us buyers their food-making process starting from the beginning, such as the stories of the Beratou cheese and of the spit cake. I was attracted by the tree-shaped cake on the spit and bought one on the spot. It was crunchy outside and softer inside with rich butter and egg taste, so yummy! The cake is called gâteau à la broche, a traditional cake from the Bigorre region. The man in my photo applied layer upon layer of batter to that spit in front of a fire, and it all gradually solidified in contact with the heat. You can smell that sweetness in the air from distance, and it won't let you down. :)
Here's a recipe I found online if you are also interested to know how to make this delicious gâteau à la broche. I read that a spit cake festival is held in the town of Arreau in the Hautes-Pyrénées each July. It's a great chance to sample this unique treat.
There were also abundant fruits on offer at the market, like peaches and apricots. We bought a couple of giant yellow peaches, and even today, I can still recall their sweet and juicy taste...
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keep it Haute like chris brown
is this one of those city states with autonomous rule up in the mountains with low EU membership and their own rules etc?
Hmm, I'm not sure... the history of that region seems quite complicated.
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I love markets like this! You can try local stuff and learn a lot from the sellers if you ask the right questions. Great post!
Exactly. :) I had a great time there.
The market looks really appetizing with all the little things to try. Is this a common offer or something special?
They say it's common in that region, even with a summer festival about it.
Oh my word! I was just commenting to @dswigle about the wonderful markets I visited when I lived overseas! I was remembering one of the French markets that we used to buy our breakfast from when we were running half marathons there. Quaint farm market with red umbrellas, crates of fresh veggies and baskets overflowing with pastries. We by-passed the (gulp) frogs legs. I forgot the name of the market .... until I read your post! I was there!!!! What a wonderful wander down memory lane! Thank you @itchyfeetdonica
You are very welcome. :) Cool to know that you were also there and were running half marathons!
That traditional cake from the Bigorre region looks exactly like the ones in Lithuania. In Lithuania, they have them as a special dessert, gift to someone special or Christmas/New Year or even a wedding cake. It is called Šakotis.
I did see something similar in Poland and Germany but done slightly differently.
The one I see here in your pictures looks exactly like Šakotis. Would be interesting to know where it originated first 😂
Aha, that's fun! :D I just checked pictures of Šakotis, and they do look the same! Are you from Lithuania?
I didn't see that cake when travelling in Lithuania or Poland, but noticed something similar (less spiky) in Austria once. I'm wondering where it started too. 😃
I am Latvian, but my other half is Lithuanian hence I know about it. I love that cake. Every time I come to see his parents, they order a huge Šakotis. We end up taking some back to the UK too.
And it is interesting because Latvia and Lithuania are border countries (kinda brothers due to the Baltic state thing), yet we don't have this cake in Latvia. Amond Latvians it is called a Lithuanian "Christmas tree". 🙂
This was such a wonderful post and I have to apologize once more, but, here is the thing. You did the right thing and dropped the link in my comment section. When I called up #MarketFriday on Peakd and Hive, it doesn't come up. That I why I have missed yours in the past! Can you tell me what you use to post? I am on peakd now and your post doesn't come up. Am I missing something?
I love that you post into #MarketFriday and I don't want to scare you away because you don't think I read them. :)
#MarketFriday began as a way to reach out across the globe and learn about different cultures through their markets, especially local markets and farmers markets and eventually branching out and evolving over time from straight shopping to a cultural affair as it highlights how we differ and then again, how much we are alike. We have become a melting pot of culture, but, it is still the Rituals, Festivals, food, architecture, even your language/languages that separate us... Along with the fact of what is these things are normal for us. There are unwritten rules that rule our social behaviors. I see this as allowing for increased tolerance between cultures and nations, and opportunities to come together on an even playing ground. A strong culture can be beneficial to a country as it promotes unity, especially during a crisis, peaceful debate, and open dialogue. I have learned so much about all of you and it has been an amazing experience. I can only hope that learning about each other can help us work together for a peaceful world.
Fridays are all about the #MarketFriday Challenge! Looking to take part in it? Here is how:
Take pictures! Be creative!
5. Drop the link into the MarketFriday comment section so I can find it
7. You must put #MarketFriday by @dswigle somewhere on your post. If you don't and someone reads it, there is nothing to tie #MarketFriday to that post.
As always, please remember! #MarketFriday loves you!
Upped and reposted
I use Peakd too, and no worries about missing posts, it can happen... I always enjoyed sharing the markets anyway! :)