Authentic France Travel Tip #3: Buy a French Market Bag at the Beginning of Your Trip, Fill Repeatedly, Then Pack it in Your Suitcase to Take Home
There is nothing that makes you feel quite as authentically French as filling up one of these traditional French market bags with luscious produce, smelly cheeses, and crusty baguettes at one of France’s fabulous local markets.
I bought my own French market bag at the Saturday morning market in Beaune (a not to miss event if you are in the area) and they only cost between 10 and 20 Euros. My market bag and I have passed many a beautiful moment together, not the least of which was the photo shoot on my front lawn five minutes ago!
I leave lists of local markets at all four of our vacation rentals in Burgundy, and there is more than one going on every day of the week. In my mind there is no better way to discover village life in France than exploring as many markets as you can during your stay.
I use my market bag for many other things besides going to the actual market. I use it as my grocery bag, to pack the girls’ kimonos and after-school “goûter
” to Monday evening judo classes, as a beach bag, and a picnic basket.
These sacs are not only environmentally friendly, but they also bestow on their owners a certain effortless French chic. Remember those black and white photos of Brigitte Bardot in Saint-Tropez before she went off the deep end? Often she was only accessorized by her tattered French market bag, but it was enough.
In my mind French market bags make perfect souvenirs to take home; they pack flat, don’t break, are completely inoffensive to customs officers and sniffer dogs (and sadly one can’t say the same for an Epoisses). They also give you a nice jolt of frenchitude every time you sling those leather straps over your shoulder, just like these French mesdames pictured below.
*”Authentic France Travel Tips” are posted every Tuesday and give ideas for travellers who want to experience the authentic side of France.