Amiens_Marché aux Légumes © CRTC Hauts-de-France - Anne-Sophie FlamentAmiens_Marché aux Légumes © CRTC Hauts-de-France - Anne-Sophie Flament
©Amiens, Marché aux Légumes |Hauts-de-France Tourisme - Anne-Sophie Flament

Eat healthy, local and seasonal

Food is served – but not just any old food. The anxiety of the last year has at least prompted us to take back control of our plates by choosing healthy, local and seasonal food that preserves both our health AND that of the planet.
We can do this by favouring authentic, ethical, environmentally responsible organic or sustainably farmed produce and regional items made by skilled producers who love good food and work with family recipes handed down from one generation to the next.
All of this anchors us in local history, in the rhythms of life and the seasons, and in the convivial pleasure of meeting the producers themselves… Long live short supply chains! And beyond the array of suppliers from whom you can buy direct, you can also eat delicious local produce cooked to perfection in local restaurants, to enjoy on site or take away

Northern France _ Proisy_Au Jardin d'Hélène _ cooking class ©CRTC Hauts-de-France - Comdesimages.comNorthern France _ Proisy_Au Jardin d'Hélène _ cooking class ©CRTC Hauts-de-France -
©Northern France, Proisy_Au Jardin d'Hélène, cooking class |CRTC Hauts-de-France -

Happiness on the plate

Smells, colours and flavours all work together on the plate to whet our appetite as well as nourish our mood. Eating well restores our appreciation of life! Terroir – local, fresh, seasonal products – are good for our bodies but also for our emotions, as evidenced by Marcel Proust and his famous madeleine!

Our wonderful local produce

The harvests of our regions, fruits of our skilled producers, can be discovered in local markets, at farms and in shops insisting on short supply chains. Fill your shopping basket with cauliflower from Saint-Omer, carrots from Tilques, chicory from the Nord’s former quarries, beans from Soissons, Picardy lentils, garlic from Locon or rates (potatoes) from Le Touquet. Add apples and pears from the orchards of Thiérache, Pays de Bray or Avesnois, strawberries from Samer and berries from Noyon… And don’t forget the seafood of our coast: mussels, shrimps from Audresselles, sole, turbot, whiting, halibut and last but not least the legendary herring – delicious, not overfished, and rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Good places to eat local produce

Country bistros, listed estaminets, Logis de France, master restaurateurs, Culinary College of France members, Euros-Toques members, Somme Bay Carbon-free Association members, the vegetable garden network… All are committed to serving local produce. The long list of venues testifies to the rich array of ingredients from land and sea; within them (or at home) you can sample tasty specialties from chefs who include pioneers of local cuisine, some of whom have their own kitchen gardens for even greater freshness and fewer food miles. And then there are delis including Le Séson, The Sisters’ Canteen and the M’naturellement.

Local’s tip

alain bahuchetattelage alain bahuchet, gremevillers, oise
©attelage alain bahuchet, gremevillers, oise
Good places to find samphire and sea aster

It’s in the the Somme Bay, on soils saturated with salt, that grow the samphire and sea aster rich in vitamins and minerals that you can taste in many restaurants around the bay, including L’Auberge de la Marine, Carré Gourmand and Les Tourelles in Le Crotoy, at La Terrasse in Fort-Mahon, at Les Corderies in Saint Valery-sur-Somme and at Le Petit Marais in Abbeville. You should also stock on on some of them to take home with you. In Le Crotoy, you can buy them from René Lenne, a shore fisherman (12 Rue Jules Verne) and from fishmonger Didier Carton (6 Quai Courbet). In Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, there’s Monsieur Delaby, a fisherman, at 1 Place des Pilotes.
My sea aster salad tapenade is a recipe I like to make as an aperitif. Wash a handful of samphire and sea aster, put them in the blender, add a drizzle of olive oil and pepper (no salt – it’s already salty!) and mix well. The result is a very green tapenade to serve with small hunks of good crusty bread …

Alain BAHUCHET - Expert in local products, regional specialties and gourmet shops

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