We fulfilled a long held dream of travelling to Paris last week. One of the high points of the trip for me apart from staring down at the city from the heights of the Eiffel Tower was visiting a local market.
The market which caters to the ordinary Parisian and keeps them well stocked with fresh produce, cheese and wine among other things was a serendipitous discovery as we were roaming the streets of Paris in search of the 'real Paris' and we found it and how.
What drew our attention to this market was the sight of two full sized cows lazing on top of a shop. A closer look and we figured we had hit a fresh bazaar something I had been hoping to visit.
The sight of the fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese and God knows how many kinds of fresh sea produce was unbelievable. What I totally loved was the attention given to presentation at what was essentially a haat.
Take a look yourself.
|Small berries called Rouge berries which sparkled like gems and looked too good to eat - sour to taste I think they would work best with some cream :)|
The vendors who were more used to locals gave us a patient hearing and actually helped us pick a few things to taste and experience.
|The day's catch set up on an ice filled boat|
|clams, oysters, crabs and what nots|
|So so ready to be grilled .....|
|Ready to eat stuff for those in a rush|
|Spanish paella - looked totally yummy - the picture doesnt do justice at all|
A bakery in the same market actually had a line waiting patiently to pick the day's bread and a few savories and sweet stuff. We picked an Enid Blyton inspired meringue and Aarini's favorite assorted macaroons as well. The women at the counter who knew no English helped me pick things by sign language and smiles.
|Spot the many berries|
|Enid Blyton's treat shops come live|
The wine shop was a delight with really expensive stuff to ones as cheap as a Pepsi/coke kept right up till the pavement. Apparently in the middle ages water in Europe was so polluted that it would be undrinkable for many months. This caused the locals to rely heavily on wine and beer to quench thirst. While Germany went the beer way, the sophisticated French chose wine. And have made wine pairing an essential part of their culinary skills.
From every day fresh stuff, groceries, wine, to a quick visit to the Pharmacy and local Nursery - the market arranged for everything.
We walked out of the market at the other end - Happy to have experienced a slice of quintessential Parisian life and wanting to go back for more.
Our short trip has only ensured that our dream of spending at least a week or two in the city, possibly in an apartment of our own grows stronger.