There are open air markets throughout Paris making it convenient for the city dwellers to walk to one nearby. They can shop as well in indoor markets and grocery stores. We were fortunate to visit 3 outdoor markets while we were there in December 2009. One amazing thing is that the food–the fruit and vegetables–look so much better than what we see in our supermarkets.
It could be that here in West Virginia we are at the bottom of the food supply chain, but I am also remembering food in Nashville, Connecticut and New Jersey. One amazing difference was readily apparent—the produce was ripe.
All too often we get items that are picked green and must “ripen” off the vine or stem. Full flavor is never obtained that way. But it is what we have become accustom to here in the US. If you have your own garden, you understand the difference I am talking about.
I was surprised to see meats, poultry and seafood also available at these open air markets. On ice, they appear fresh and healthy. I could hear my mother’s voice in my head warning against bacteria and decay, but I realize that these markets have existed for hundreds and even thousands of years.
People in Paris may not shop every day but many have refrigerators that are about a quarter the size of what we are used to, only a bit larger than dorm refrigerators. Because of size limitations it becomes necessary to shop much more than we do in the States. It is not wrong, merely a lifestyle difference that works for that culture.
Take a look at some of these foods and then you decide if things look good…….good enough to eat!
Fast food? Who needs McDonalds when you can pick up ready made meals, like Bouef Bourguignon!!!
We were lucky on our tour of the Marais neighborhood to find a series of courtyards with a market filled with vendors from all over France. Held twice a year, they came to the city to sell honey, nougat (the man above), fois gras, sea salt, olive oil and other food stuffs, scarfs and a few other textiles. I purchased honey and TRUFFLES!