The Open Air Markets in Paris
We have markets like these here in the United States but what makes "going to the market" so different in Paris? I would say that it is a way of life rather than some special event. People in Paris plan ahead and most have lists of produce, meat, fish or cheese to buy. I still cannot get used to shopping in advance, even just a week! It is considered normal to shop daily and only buy what is in season. In these photos, you will see the Spring offerings on the stalls. This particular market on the Rue De La Convention is held twice weekly and still attracts such a crowd it makes it difficult to get through the streets. Sundays are especially packed. The whole family will pitch in, filling rolling carts or carrying baskets brimming with fresh produce. Mothers pushing strollers pack their purchases to hang on the handles and elderly couples walk along with baskets, worn from years of service.
Click on the photo above and use the arrows to see them all.
What I like about them
I admire the care given to each display. Everything is arranged in neat rows, sorted by color and variety. The merchant will pick the amount you ask for, taking care to choose the best available. These people are usually chatty, cheerful and engaging.They understand that shopping should not be tedious and impersonal. It's all about cultivating a steady, loyal clientele.This is what I appreciate the most.
The extra touch
The extra touch is the array of unusual stands. You can, for example, find children's clothing, women's underwear, oriental rugs, antiques and sewing supplies. Even men's hankerchiefs claim to be "exceptional quality" and are displayed like napkins at a 4 star restaurant. Who uses them anyway? Oh well, if they are exceptional, exceptions can be made!
This is where I got the idea to feature cheese and do an interview with a "fromager". Next time you go to Paris and shop at market, you will know what to buy! Be sure to check out the interview under "so cheesy".
Last but not least
Send your comments and questions if you have any. Don't forget to subscribe!