Nothing tells you more about a nation and it’s culture than it’s street markets. Getting to understand how and what families eat is to gain an insight into the real experience of a place.
Nowhere is that more true than in Paris. The essence of the whole country is distilled into a glorious perfume in the side streets of the capital. Cheeses, mushrooms, herbs, garlic, tomatoes, vegetables and bread all take an overnight journey to arrive fresh from the countryside producers across France into the early morning mayhem that is the market.
Visit early to get the best choice and to experience the array of produce. Later in the day when Parisians arrive to purchase the essentials for dinner, the atmosphere changes and one feels a part of the great hustle and bustle of life in the city.
As with the rest of Parisian culture, there is always time to stop off for a coffee and some conversation at the roadside cafes strewn alongside the stalls or for a long lunch and a good bottle of wine.
Tiny boutique stores that co-exist with the street stalls are packed with myriad delights that represent distant parts of the country. Here flammekueche and choucroute from Alsace, next door Comte cheese from the Jura or oils and tapenade from Provence. It is like a festival for the senses every day.
To truly say you have visited Paris, a trip to a market has to be included in your itinerary and to be taken by someone who knows the stall holders and shop keepers, provides a constant supply of “tasters” along the way and then leads you to a hidden gem for lunch enhances the experience to the level of sublime.
Original Food Tours know the stall holders and shop keepers as friends and can introduce you to the hidden corners of French culture from the point of view of those who live there and the few lucky enough to be in the know.
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