Adventures Ashore: Sete, France, Covered Markets

Sete, France, is a charming town with a flower market; an outdoor market (operating only on Wednesdays and where you’ll find everything from fresh produce, cheese and ham to infused olive oils and just-out-of-the-oven bread); and a covered market, particularly for seafood

In this video, we get together with a local to tour the various markets in Sete.


Today we’re going to tour and taste the markets of Sete, and we have a local guide to show us the way.

Danielle is going to take us for a tour of Sete’s markets. We’re going to taste oysters, wines, cheeses and some other great things.

So Danielle, lots of beautiful fruits and vegetables. Where do these come from?

“They come from the region. They’re produced locally, and the local people really enjoy coming to buy fresh food, vegetables, fruit, chicken, meat, and they usually go to the same shop every Wednesday morning.”

You come here to get your chicken?

“Yes, people come here early in the morning and say I would like a chicken or some potatoes or mushrooms at noon and then they come and take it home for lunch. But all the products are changing depending on the season, so at the moment it’s time for mushrooms and chestnuts.”

What a wonderful lifestyle you live here to come to the market and buy fresh fruits and vegetables and meats. Wonderful. Do you actually shop here yourself?

“Yes. We do have our favorite shops here.”

Let’s take a look around.

“Here is where we come to buy Italian food, ravioli, cannelloni, Italian cheese, because we all have Italian roots. And we like preparing fresh food.”

“Here is for the fish.”

Danielle, this looks as much like entertainment as it does shopping. People are just standing around watching this.

“Yes, people are coming and then depending on the fish they can find, they decide to prepare a special recipe. And you buy the fish, but they prepare the fish for you, without bones.”

It’s a real art to it. He’s just handling it with his hands.
“And now you can see some shellfish, really fresh.”

This is a much happier place than my grocery store back home.

“So now I am taking you to the most important place here, the bar.”

So now we’re going to do a tasting, and everything on this table is local.”

“Yes, the oysters are produced in the lagoon, the tielle is a local recipe — it’s an octopus pie — and the cheese is coming from the region.”

So this wine and these oysters were born almost in the same place?

“Exactly. Twenty centuries ago the Romans were growing oysters in the lagoon and they were producing wine by the lagoon as we do 20 centuries after.”

So we’re both going to try an oyster?

“Yes. Very good.”

Tastes fresh from the lagoon. Very salty.

“Yes, they are salty because they are not long from the lagoon.”

“Danielle, thank you for showing us around the markets here in Sete. I really enjoyed it.”

Merci et toi. A la tienne.

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