Buying bread in a Parisian
If you go all the way to France without visiting
a real French marketplace, you would have completely missed
France. Seriously. And many people will tell you
that you have to go out into the countryside to a village
to see one, but they're mistaken. There are many good marketplaces
inside Paris proper, some more French than others.
is sometimes an open area where shop owners set up stalls
and sell goods, but the one we enjoyed the most was a long
narrow street filled with shops that just set up carts outside.
The French marketplace is an event that most tourists miss,
simply because they are caught up with visiting so many other
sights. There is also the tendency to think, "Why would
I want to see a French marketplace? I don't need groceries."
But a trip to the market is to sample the culture more than
anything else. Here you can see real locals going around to
get the things they need, taste items that you wouldn't have
been able to in a conventional market, and snap some great
photos on this page were taken at the Rue Mouffetard market,
close to the Place Monge metro stop. This is a terrific marketplace.
There are other markets that serve up more ethnic or gourmet
food, but if you only have time to visit one market, this
is the one you want to go to.
can find just about anything here, as long as you're looking
for something fresh. Fresh fruits, vegetables, meats,
pastries, bread, sausages, anything. We took the opportunity
to stock up on some things we needed for a picnic at Chateau
de Versailles the next day. People are friendly here, as this
is off the beaten tourist track. A great place to enjoy the
music, people, food, and feel of Paris.
I said, people are more friendly here. We discovered that
when we wandered into a shop and started looking for cheeses
to take back to our families. This woman went above and beyond
the call of duty... She let us sample about ten different
kinds of cheeses, some of them very old. She helped us select
the perfect ones, vacuum-seal them, and gave us some good
advice about traveling in France.
hard to stay away from the chocolatier shops, with their delicious,
aromatic displays of crafted chocolates and candies. I probably
spent the most time there!
shop had this fantastic chocolate fountain. This is way
became popular in the US! You've got to check out the chocolate
the end of the street, we saw something that neither of us
had ever seen. There was an open area in the small streets
where people had crowded. At the center was a woman singing
traditional French songs and people dancing. As soon as we
joined the crowd a man with a smile on his face handed us
a sheet of paper with the lyrics to a few of the songs. Many
people in the crowd were singing along with the woman who
had the microphone. We're still not sure what that was all
about, or if the neighborhood people just do that every weekend
or what. But it was very cool, very French, and very unexpected!
a few shots of some of the little restaurants they had around
And I just had to include this shot. Jenn found
this basket... it looks like the baskets that a few of the
people shopping were carrying around with them, and it looks
exactly like the baskets everyone is carrying around in
the opening scene in Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' when
Belle is shopping around in the marketplace. We would have
bought one and taken it home, but transporting it without
it getting damaged would have been difficult.
the last shot is one of Jenn and I, taken by some American
ex-pats sitting at the table next to us.
to a French Marketplace is something that should be on your
itinerary from the start! Not to be missed!