Farmer's Marketing: Paris in April

In addition to all the little boulangeries, charcuteries, and fromageries, Paris has an amazing system of rotating district markets in each arrondissement - you can find one or two open most any day of the week. When a simple breakfast at a neighborhood cafe, including 2 coffees and a single croissant, costs 14 euros (or $20+), it's the perfect time to stock up on some groceries to cut down on the number of meals out. The good news is, finding yummy food in Paris is as easy as tarte au pomme. 

On Sundays, the Marché Raspail on Paris' Blvd. Raspail is a "bio marché" or organic market. On Tuesdays, it's just a regular marché, though still a pretty nice one.  I was surprised at how much of the produce comes from outside of France - Tunisia, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Florida, etc. Not much comes from France! But each of the items for sale has a little sign that says what it is, how much it costs and where it comes from. I found that pretty helpful.  Wouldn't it be nice to have that in Ann Arbor?

One thing that's different in the Paris market is that generally you don't choose your own produce. You wait until your turn in line and then the vendor asks what you'd like. You tell them each item and how much, they weigh each thing and then tell you how much. Merci madame!

Another thing that's a bit different is that there are vendors selling fresh fish (many kinds, like dorade and even octopus), meat (like tiny pigeons with the heads still attached), cheese and yogurt, nuts, olives, and other prepared food like fresh pasta, butter, hummus.  Along with our produce, we bought some paté a campagne - a rustic paté (of schweinfleisch, as Ali would say). And also some saucisson sec, rosette a l'ancienne - basically a summer sausage.  The yogurt here is amazing. I'm very excited to try the rhubarb yogurt we bought today.

Funny things you see at the market include - a young woman doing her shopping on rollerblades. Nothing helps with shopping like being on rollerblades. People carry their dogs in their handbags. We've even seen some special doggy carrier handbags and a kind of wearable dog carrier - like a Baby Bjorn except with a dog riding in the front pocket. 

Future meals at the flat will include some eggs with toast and that rich farmhouse yogurt. Nice fresh pasta - little "fagottini" (they look like miniature grocery bags, pinched at the top) with parma ham and some tortellini with ricotta and "basilique" (basil).  French breakfast radishes that I'll have to eat myself, probably on buttered baguettes. Some of that strange white asparagus that they are so fond of here, purplish at the top. We stopped by Poilane to pick up some of their wonderful little nut rolls that are so tasty with cheese. And the boulangerie near our place was finally open - an apricot tart is on the docket for tonight.  

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