“Le Ventre de…”, in Arte, a tour of the most famous markets in Europe


Stefano Tealdi’s series The belly of… originally had ten episodes, broadcast on Arte, in July 2015. In February 2021, they were added “five unique culinary adventures in famous markets of the Old Continent”, constituting the group that is broadcast this summer on the Franco-German channel.

The Belly of Valencia. The central market, Le Ventre de Bergen. The Fish Market, The Belly of Munich. Viktualienmarkt market, The Belly of Cagliari. San Benedetto Market, The Belly of the Cork. The English Market, The Belly of Thessaloniki. Kapani Market, etc.

These Forty-three-minute episodes follow an invariable principle: starting from a room, an urban market -covered or uncovered-, digressions are offered on a product, a technique, a tradition, even a local gastronomic curiosity with a typicality more or less appetizing. .

Local culinary practices.

We sometimes smile at the way customers and shopkeepers pretend to have a spontaneous dialogue in front of the camera and shed a not necessarily dazzling light on local culinary practices: “You know you have to soak them overnight…”recalls the covered market merchant Victor-Hugo from Toulouse, about the Tarbais bean which, like almost all dry beans on the planet, is prepared in this way.

Michel Sarran (former judge of the “Top Chef” program on M6), who buys there for his two-star restaurant, does not avoid banalities either: “It is not a sophisticated market, but a market with sincere, honest people…” A phrase that could be applied to all the rooms in the series… Go for it “sincere and honest”such as Katia, the viticulturist who celebrates without ceremony “picole wines” and Jean-Pierre, sliced ​​truffles on buttered toast.

The only thing missing, as we have seen and experienced in the central market of Narbonne, is a butcher pulling chips and ribs over the heads of customers sitting at the counter of a steakhouse across the aisle. requested before. cooking… When the camera moves to a distant market, it arouses interest in the peculiarities and beauty of certain places (the Art Nouveau of Valencia, Spain). However, the architectural dimension takes a backseat, to privilege the human, the local culinary and agricultural practices.

The episode dedicated to Fisketorget, the fish market in Bergen, Norway, located in the historic port of the Hanseatic League, will whet the appetite of lovers of seafood, caught in a “Very clean and constantly renewed water… but cold! »warns Knut, a sea urchin fisherman, before diving into a Norwegian fjord with sublime mountain scenery.

It will be noted that these markets are the meeting point for many producers and manufacturers who have converted to the virtuous uses of rational and organic agriculture and livestock, often practiced by the children of former peasants, who have gone to study abroad. outside before returning. for recycling in the family business. And we will rejoice that your ” economic model “ serving quality meets success.

The belly of…, documentary series by Stefano Tealdi (German, 2015-2020, 15 × 43 min). arte.tv

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