Provenance is important to the French. As you walk through a market, you will see Roussillon apricots, Provençal figs and Ardèche chestnuts, labelled with pride. Cheese mongers willingly limit their selection to a specific region or type of cheese. In the fall, wild game hangs from the butcher’s stall, where chickens are sold with their heads intact. Vendors cry out daily specials while admonishing customers who try to select their own produce. This is true at street markets (aka farmers’ markets), like Motte Picquet or rue Monge, and on market streets like Marché d’Aligre or rue Montorgueil. Most food merchants close Sunday at noon and only reopen Tuesday morning. Until then, grocery stores become the last resort for desperate shoppers.
Photo : Sylvia Sabes