Paris -Food/Market Walking Tour?

Old Sep 16th, 2009, 02:12 PM
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Paris -Food/Market Walking Tour?

Has anyone taken a food or market tour in Paris? We are renting an apartment in Paris next month. I definitely want to shop in the food markets, but I'm a little apprehensive and thought this might be a good "primer". I've seen a few offered by Context Paris and Meeting the French -they seem a little expensive and I'm wondering if they are worth the money.

Thanks for the input!
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Your landlord should be able to tell you where and when the sidewalk food markets are open. Give your arrondissement, and many readers will know exactly where to go shopping.
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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What, exactly, are you apprehensive about? I'm not sure why anyone would need a tour guide to take them food shopping. If it's the language you're worried about, you can be sure there will be other market-goers who will be having the same problem, and most of the vendors will probably speak enough English to help you with a transaction. If not, pointing and using your fingers for numbers and amounts usually works fine.
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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Don't handle the produce in the markets. Point and ask for how much you want. You might want to know how to convert pounds to kilos (if you're American). For instance, a pound is about half a kilo.

If you're buying cheese or cake or something that get cut, the vendors will always look at you for confirmation about the amount you want. Simply tell them you want more or less (use your hands to signify more or less) or OK if they are going to cut the amount you want.

Market shopping is very easy in Paris. Vendors are used to tourists who don't speak French.
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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I know I don't need a tour guide to go food shopping, however, I was thinking a tour might be good just to learn more about french cheeses, wines, etc.

I was really looking for feedback if anyone has taken one of these market or gourmet food tours.

Thanks
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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I took a look at Context Market Walk. There wasn't any mention of wine in the description. That's not to say that the docent won't be knowledgeable about wines or that you can't ask questions.

You might want to consider contacting Parisien d'un Jour (formerly Paris Greeter), a free service. Tell them the dates you'll be in Paris and what you're looking for. Maybe they can match you up with a local volunteer who can advise on cheese and wine and take you to a market.

http://www.parisiendunjour.fr/
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Don't handle the produce in the markets.

Not necessarily. If the grocer arranges his stand in a U shape, it usually means that the customer can pick his own items. And even with a standard setup many fruit and vegetable stands allow the customer to pick items, but one should ask. The change may be due to the influence of supermarkets.
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 06:45 PM
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Thanks for the update Michael. I don't remember seeing any U shaped stands - only the stands lined up next to each other where the vendors are ready to help. When in doubt, I keep my hands off the goods!
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 06:50 PM
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1 word. Monoprix
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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Kendra, have you posted this question on chow.com? The boards there vary considerably from place to place. I haven't tried the Paris/France board there at all, but you might be able to pick up suggestions on these tours or other ways to get the experience (and knowledge) you're looking for from the foodies there.
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 05:09 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 06:11 AM
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We did a fabulous food and market walking tour in July with Eye Prefer Paris. Richard is a gem and will show you his take on the Paris food scene. He is a former chef from NYC and also has a cooking school in Paris.
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 09:05 AM
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Here is another resource. Not inexpensive but very good. And the site may be of interest to you and others who want different kind of "Paris experience" opportunities http://www.paris-expat.com/
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