Thursday 26 May 2011

The Markets of Paris

During the past few days I have visited the majority of the tourist sites in Paris (the Louvre, Disneyland, Eiffel Tower, Pantheon, Arc du Triomphe, Notre Dame and a boat cruise on the river Seine). Whilst each day has been highly enjoyable, I felt I was missing seeing the Paris I wanted to see. The Paris with the cobblestone streets, lined with fromageries and fresh produce with Parisians buying their daily baguettes.

The tourist sites are somewhat quarantined from the Parisians; there are no local shops in vicinity (in fact I had not even seen a supermarket, fromagerie or butcher since I arrived) and the eating choices are highly geared for the tourists.

Today I decided that I was going to take a step away from mainstream tourist Paris - to the market. Now to be fair, I didn't venture that far as tourists often visit here, but it was a welcome change of pace and

The view down Rue Mouffetard

I started my day at Rue Mouffetard, a cobblestone street lined with providores of fresh produce. Inspired by a logo on a shopping bag my cousin had last night “Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food”, I decided to purchase a sampling of goods from the shops and create my own picnic to eat in Paris.

A tiny selection of the goods on offer

I visited the fromagerie and bought three small cheeses (two goats and one sheep), the charcutier for some jamon, the bakery for a ciabatta, the seafood shop for gambas alla ajillo (prawns with garlic and roasted tomato) and the fresh market for raspberries.

The interior of AndrOuet Fromagerie

The weather was windy and threatening to rain so I abandoned my initial plan of picnicking by the Seine and instead took up residence in a local park in the heart of Paris.

The view from my picnic location

A sampling of my lunch items

For the remainder of the day, I walked around the Chatelet part of Paris, window shopping and taking in the sights; a lovely day in Paris.

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