Lyon and gastronomy
Lyon is THE gastronomic capital of Lyon. The reason? A good and simple cuisine at the crossroad of Northern (butter, cream …) and Provençale cuisine ( Mediterranean vegetables, olive oil ) availability of fresh products, good climate, etc. ..
The markets of Lyon are supplied with the wonderful fruits and vegetables from the Rhône valley, poultry from the Bresse region, guinea fowls of la Drôme and fish from the Dombes lakes. Lyon & Savoie are known for the sausages and their cheese.
Since roman times, Lyon was a meeting point where people could discover other civilizations food and continued through centuries when at the beginning of the 16 C silks merchants brought exotic spices and technics from their long journey.
Finding local products will not be difficult at the markets arranged every day in each districts of the city. Vegetables, fruits, cheese, meat, fish, flowers, everything you need is within a hand´s reach… When you visit the city, make sure that you walk by some of the many food markets in town (I have counted as many as 40).
Here is a link in English:
PS: French love markets and in addition to food markets, check for night markets (in summer), books and other second hand sales …
Source for picture: insidethegate.com
The most famous market Les Halles de Paul Bocuse built in 1971, went through extensive renovation in 2004 and now offers 13 000 m2 on three levels. In 2006 the Market took the name of the famous Lyon based Chef Paul Bocuse. One advise .. don´t go there with an empty stomach !
For a first approach to traditional food from Lyon, pay a visit to the most famous displays of the market:
– Colette Sibila. In the display of this Maison founded in 1925, all types of sausages, typical products from Lyon.
– La boucherie centrale – specialist of beef meat and poultry from la Bresse – amongst other things.
– La Mère Richard. To make a Lyon cheese plate, take some Saint Marcellin, une Cervelle de canuts and a Chabichou.
Lyon is also known for its Mères Lyonnaises. They were women who after the French Revolution set up their own business in the 19 C. They had worked previously as cook in the rich family of Lyon. Their restaurants served simple and popular dishes to the Canuts (workers from the silk industry.)
What about Wine?
As in almost every region of France, the climate is favorable to the culture of the wine. The wine region around Lyon is called Beaujolais. The region is producing both red and white, however the red prevails at 98 %. While the red wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins The white wine is made from Chardonnay.
Next Episode: 4 – Bistrots Lyonnais