Food Markets

The city's open-air food markets attract the entire spectrum of Paris society, from the splendid matron with her minuscule dog in tow, to the mustachioed regular picking up his daily baguette. Although some markets are busier than others, there's not one in Paris that doesn't captivate the senses. Each season has its delicacies: fraises des bois (wild strawberries) and tender asparagus in spring, squash blossoms and fragrant herbs in summer, saffron-tinted chanterelles in autumn, bergamot oranges in late winter. Year-round you can find pungent lait cru (unpasteurized) cheeses, charcuterie, and wild game and fish. Many of the better-known open-air markets are in areas you'd visit for sightseeing. While most of the produce is direct from Rungis, the largest international food wholesaler in the world, organic markets (marchés bio) are gaining traction in the city. These are where you're most likely to find actual growers and producers, most notably at the Marché Raspail, Marché Batignolles, and Marché Richard Lenoir. To get a list of market days in your area, ask your concierge or check the markets section on the website www.paris.fr/marches.

If you're unused to the metric system, it may be helpful to know that une livre is French for a pound; une demi-livre is a half pound. For cheese or meats, un morceau will get you a piece, une tranche a slice.

Most markets are open from 8 am to 1 pm three days a week year-round (usually the weekend and one weekday) on a rotating basis.

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