Monday, May 12, 2014

Euro 2014 - Sunday Market and the Great Mother's Day Crab Fiasco of 2014

Public open air markets are a big thing in France.  Been around forever.  For as long as I've been going to France some 55 years and I'm sure much longer than that.  I found there is even a website now where you can find where a market is and on what days in France.

Here in the village of Plougrescant, our market is on Sunday and it is a tiny little thing with maybe 5 or 6 vendors.  Probably during high season, July and August, it will get more.  Wife and my casual, non-scientific observation of the area is that maybe 50% of the houses around the coast are vacation rentals.  But even with only a few vendors there are good things to be had and for a gastronome like me opportunities to create meals.

  Marché á Plougrescant
Very cold and blustery 

We came back with some great produce:

Local artichokes which are grown in fields all around here

White asparagus
I've never been in Europe for asparagus season and never quite understood the hype over the white variety.
Know I know.  Super sweet and delicious

Big ass local cabbage

We've been gorging ourselves with the local artichokes
I processed a half dozen of them

The Great Crab Fiasco

No matter how good a cook you are, there are going to be days when things just don't happen for you.  When we were at the market, there were some people selling local clams and oysters as well as another person selling local lobsters and crabs.  It was Mother's Day and with us being far, far away from our kids, I thought I would treat Wife to one of her favorites.  The lobster was really expensive but the crab was very reasonable and they were huge.  They were a variety I've never seen before.

I bought two and some clams for myself and decided we would have a nice big seafood lunch.  First I didn't quite account for the fact that these were very lively crabs and I had a not so big pot.  So we had a bit of an ordeal as I'm trying to get these guys (actually one guy and one gal) to accept their fate.  I'm holding on to the lid and they're fighting to get out.  I'm thinking this can't be very good for my karma.

Crabs finally in cooking mode

The clams were much more docile and they also were very good

Crab is finally done and we sit down to eating.  These things have the hardest shells I've ever encountered on a crustacean.  I'm whacking away.  Shell is going everywhere.  Especially on Wife.  But finally in the middle of it all we find.....

So little meat as to be almost inconsequential.  Any meat there is firmly fixed to the harder than steel shells so when it shreds into nothingness when you try to get it out.  After about an hour of eating we had a huge mess and were starving.  I suspect these crabs developed this evolutionary survival mechanism where predators found that even though they looked like a great big meal that if fact they would succumb to starvation if they made them their diet.  

We punted and had bread and cheese.


alexis said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the live action telling of the crab fiasco

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

As a vegetarian, I was rooting for the crabs a little, and it looks like they won!

I have been in Germany twice during white asparagus season, and so I know the joy that you are now experiencing. We ate it almost every day when in season.

Lakeview Coffee Joe said...

Very funny, but I'm sad the crab meal didn't turn out. Love me some crab!