Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"I went to the Market, mon p'tit panier sous le bras..."

Believe it or not, the words above are from a famous French-Canadian song, by Gilles Vigneault.If you want to read the whole song, which is quite funny (and bilingual), read here.

So, like the song says, I went to the market today. Actually, I go there twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I am such a regular that the standkeepers call me by my name. They are so kind. I love to chat with them. They always have a kind word, and ask news about my family, beg me to tell about my latest vacation in detail (and they don't even find it boring !!), "forget" to add some vegetables on my total bill, and so on. Through the years, I have learned to discern which one is the best for fresh herbs, which has the tastiest fruits, etc.

So, I always have the same itinerary inside this charming covered market. First, my "fresh herbs and vegetables" favorites--a father and his young adult son, who are close to the main entrance. They have taught me many things about their produce--which kind of potatoes are best for gratins (of course not the same as for a puree), the different names of salad greenss, "Oh, and don't buy thoses artichokes, Anne, they are not very good"!

Then the fruits counter at the very bottom of the market--a very chic couple in their 50's. They are knowledgeable travellers and we often chat about this shared passion. Then, I start to get closer to the exit by visiting the fish stand. I have tasted them all; I am a fish addict! My favorites are cod and coley fillets. I also enjoy red mullet, but removing their bones can be a real pain.
I notice that many tourists are curious about seasonal products in France. So, what did I buy today? I bought cilantro and flat-leaf parsley, scallions, Charlotte potatoes, green asparagus, rougette salad greens, fresh walnuts and green tomatoes from Sicily. As for fruits: "golden" apples, "pink lady" apples, grapes, "conference" pears, and clementines.


Luc said...

Bonjour Anne et merci pour cette petite visite au marché.

I really envy you; it is an old dream of mine to have “mes habitudes” as we said in French. Street markets are so much a part of the Parisians quality of life. On the mairie de Paris website I counted more then 85 different markets spread in all of the 20 arrondissements! In a pale comparison Ottawa have two open air market for one million habitants, and with our climate the variety of the local produces is rather limited.

In Paris so far I only visited three markets, the marché Charonne in the 11ème near the apartment, the marché bio aux Batignolles near Truffaut’s home in the 17ème and le marché des enfants rouges in the 3ème. I don’t buy much but I do listen to the conversation of the merchant and their clients, it is like a Greek agora, a place to meet and exchange not only with a mercantile goal. And that is what I like the must about going to the market, that human aspect of exchange that is often missing in our North American modern way of life.

A propos de ton titre : years ago, during a visit in Charlevoix, I heard Vigneault talking about his surprise that a song he wrote to illustrated the lack of comprehension between the two solitudes of the founding peoples of Canada turn out to be a teaching tool for French immersion program in English Canada.
Oh! Well c’est la vie.

phread said...

great photos, Anne!
Is that the Aligre market?

lili63 said...

tiens la grenouille se cache aussi ici !
donc quand elle nest pas dans sa cuisine , elle est .... au marché .
Of course !
Bises Lili from the Food Box (au cas où tu ne m'aurais pas reconnu )

Truffaut said...

But Luc, you've also strolled the Sunday market near Pte de Vanves (remember the nearly microscopic daffodils in February?)

Anne said...

Oh Lili ! Bienvenue dans ce blog communautaire ! Mais comment m'as tu trouvée ????

Bienvenue to Our Paris: Variations on a Theme

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs about Paris. So why another? Well, among all those blogs, there is a lot of misinformation. Some of them are outdated. Some of them appeal only to a small audience. And frankly, some of them are just plain boring.

Our Paris: Variations on a Theme will be different. The title is deliberate.

"Our" because we are a small family of bloggers--people living, working and playing in the City of Light.

"Paris" because each of us loves Paris above all other cities.

"Variations" because we come from wildly diverse backgrounds and our daily lives, though intersecting, are very different from one another.

"Theme" because, as a group, we are linked in bonds of friendship and adventure that have grown from a common love of Paris and all she has to offer.

We dont' know where this blog will take us. We do know that it will be accurate, interesting, diverse, and above all else, opinionated!

Whether you're dreaming of a "someday" trip to Paris, you're in a panic because your flight is leaving tomorrow morning, or you're reading this on your Blackberry while strolling the avenue des Champs-Elysées, there will be something in this blog for you!

In the coming days, we will introduce ourselves. Those who become loyal readers will see themes emerge and discover the shared interests of our little band of bloggers. Come, join with us on this adventure. Ask us what you want to know about Paris.