When I first arrived in Toulouse 8 years ago, the first meal I ate the day after the gruelling car journey from London, was a hearty plate of paella from Place des Carmes market. I always remember how very Spanish the city felt in those early days and the infamous dish from Valencia rubber stamped that feeling. I quickly got used to the idea of no-cook Sunday lunch, without compromising on home cooked food.
It took me a little while longer though to give up the idea of cooking a roast dinner on a Sunday like I did back in the UK. I always saw chicken on the rotisserie and gawped at how much the French were willing to pay for a piece of cooked poultry on a Sunday. Why not just make it yourself? That was until I decided to get in on the act and find out what the fuss was all about. That began a whole mission on trying to find the best rotisserie chicken in town…oh I could write a whole post on that one!
The Toulousains love to enjoy Sunday en famille or en amis with good food, but not necessarily cooked at home. You’ll find the markets at their busiest on Sunday mornings; everyone eager to buy produce for their lunch, whether it’s a delicious dish from the traiteur, the perfect bread, artisan cheese or simply a scrumptious tarte aux framboises for dessert. It’s the one day when you’re allowed to indulge fully. One thing’s for sure; they have definitely got the right idea. Who needs to slave over the stove on a Sunday when so much wonderful food is readily available from the markets in the city. Now I’ve been converted and join the rest of them queuing for Rocamadour cheese, Cadenet bread or fevoulet.
Photos © Eoin Mundow