Visit to a Paris Market (Video)


Everyday in Paris (except Monday), there are outdoor markets taking place in the various neighborhoods spread out across the city. Each market has its own distinct personality – and personalities – and like many residents of Paris, I like to do my shopping at an outdoor market.

As a dedicated market shopper, I find myself gravitating toward my favorite stands and sellers, such as the friendly gent who sells potatoes (and who wears just a t-shirt all year long, no matter how freezing cold it gets) and the people who come bearing gooey wedges of locally made Brie as well as unbelievably delicious crème fraîche, the kind you just can’t get anywhere else but in France. There are sturdy metal tables heaped with plenty of ice to keep all the pristine seafood and shellfish fresh, and come fall, when I don’t pick them myself, I rifle through bins of irregular apples to find just the right ones to bring home and caramelize in a warm tarte Tatin.

Some Parisians even take into consideration which market they’ll be close to when determining which neighborhood in Paris they want to live in. But outdoor markets aren’t just places to buy food; they act as social centers and once you get to know your market and the various stalls, and vendors, you develop favorites—even some who let you pick out your own apples! Here are some of mine.


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Sardine Pâté Recipe

The Barbès Market

The Sunday Bastille Market

247 comments

  • Lovely, lovely video, David! I love how you are using Asian “secret” ingredients – very California of you. Beautifully shot as well and you are charming. Thanks for sharing. -Katie

  • Lovely video! Your laugh is contagious. :c )

    Oh and creeper at 0:47

  • Tres charmant! I actually drooled a little on my keyboard when you bit into the baguette with sardines.

  • David, how fun to enjoy a slice of life, and tarte tatin, with you. Lovely video. Makes me miss Paris. :)

  • It’s almost wine-o’clock here in Boston! Can I have some of that pate of sardines and a fresh baguette to go with a glass of malbec, s’il vous plait?
    Seriously, I would love to make that pate! Any idea where I could get fresh sardines in the US? Thank you!

  • I just love to watch your shopping videos.Thanks for letting me live in Paris vicariously.

  • Fantastic. Beautiful video, David. I also agree: food shouldn’t look perfect, it should look like food. Those fresh colours from stall to stall say so much more. Thank you for allowing me to travel to Europe this morning. Placer absoluto!

  • I love this video and your tarte looks fantastic! I’ve been waiting until winter came around — and until I found friends who’d let me use their oven in exchange for good food — to try your quince tarte tatin recipe. I can attest to the fact that some Parisians choose their apartments based on proximity to a particular farmers’ market. I’m one of them, and it seems we’ve zeroed in on the same producteur :). Bonne fête!

  • David,
    Loved your video and your sardine pate / fresh baguette looked mouth-watering !
    The Tarte Tatin wasn’t bad either :-)
    One question : what is the difference between “potiron” and “potimarron” ?

    Gosh, I miss the French Markets !!

    • A potiron is a large pumpkin, usually cut into wedges since they’re enormous. A potimarron is a small squash that has a nutty flavor, (like a marron, or chestnut) and you can eat the skin.

  • Wonderful video. This is my favorite market in Paris. I loved that you also showed coming home and making the food. I want that potiron and a slice of tarte tatin!

  • David, it is always a pleasure watching you cook. You make everything look so simple and instantly I am inspired. Thank you!

  • David, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful video. We learned so much about you and you only made us want to be in Paris and France all the more. Please, do more videos like this. It was a pleasure!!!

  • lovely – thanks so much for sharing!

  • LOVELY! I’ve been seeing a lot of patty pan squash and thinking I’ll pick it up someday (when I’ve found a good enough recipe).

  • That is lovely — I love that veg stall, their mushrooms are fantastic — and I am now so homesick for the neighborhood…

  • Oh dear, you’ve exposed me. Tarte Tatin is my secret weapon dessert because as you said, it sounds so fancy and complicated but is a breeze to make. I often make the apples early in the day, roll out the crust and let it chill in the fridge until just before we sit down for dinner and then quickly put crust on top and cook while we eat. The tarte smells heavenly while it’s cooking and guests love a warm dessert. I haven’t made one in awhile so thanks for reminding me. And thanks for the wonderful market tour.

    • It is actually quite easy. I often make it and let it sit on a serving platter, overturned, but I leave the pan on top so it stays warm. People get all goofy about how their tarts look, if it’s perfect, if the apples get mushy, etc..and it really doesn’t matter. As long as it tastes good (and it’s warm!) those are what are most important.

  • Wonderful glimpse inside your world…Hope you’re planning more videos like this.

  • Love this! Thanks for taking me to paris through your video. Your food looks simple but amazingly delicious, showing that all you need is just good ingredients and who cares about presentation!
    Your blog is wonderful & thanks for sharing.
    Charlotte

  • We often (try) go to the Sunday morning market at Basse-Indre here in Nantes. We’re all usually very hungover, but the late lunch of oysters, sea urchin, cockles, paté, cheese and saucisson usually makes up for the suffering. Oh, there’s usually a salad as well!
    Nantes has recently gotten a night market (18h to 21h, I think); I haven’t been yet but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

  • I watched this without sound, and it was still very fun! Love the Bastille market, love the sardines, and especially love that you are shopping French style with a basket!

    • I bought that basket shortly after I moved to Paris. I like it because 1) It’s large enough to hold things in a single layer, so they don’t get squished, and 2) It is big enough so that I can use it to block people from cutting in front of me in line : )

      Still, I do want to get one with a narrower profile. But am not sure how effective it’ll be from keeping the line-jumpers at bay!

  • Hi David – first, love your blog and this video!

    What was it you used in place of salt for your sardines?

    • Glad you liked the video! The seasoning is called Furikake, and is a mix of ingredients, including dried seaweed, sesame, and other things. (There’s a few different types, – some can be rather strong, so take a sniff if you can.) It’s a great condiment on seafood in place of salt or just sprinkled over plain rice or buckwheat noodles. You can find it online or in any Asian market that carries Japanese foods.

  • Amazing! I wish I had an oven here so I could make a tarte tatin too. :(

  • Thank you for the video David, I love watching people cook and this little insight into your area of Paris was a treat. The lunch looked fabulous and so now I’m planning to replicate much of it on Sunday. merci.

  • More videos. More videos please.

  • Totally loved this video!! What a pleasant surprise – please do more! It’s such a great peek into your life, your cooking, and life in Paris. Love the fast-forwarding, too. : P

  • I love your use of mixed media. It’s so refreshing to see short videos like this! I bet this would work well with some Togarashi too… I love playing with any sort of global spice mix.

  • What a FUN video, and a wonderful escape! I didn’t expect to see sardines, apples, gochukaru, and furikake all in one video.

    For a second, I forgot I was in a library and laughed out loud, heartily.

  • Thank you for the market tour, it made me feel like I was walking along with you. I wish it were easier to find fresh sardines here (I live in the middle of the US). I suppose I could make something with high quality canned ones. Something to think about. Thank you :)

  • Great video and great cameo of the Lenoir market. It has its own personality that almost steals the show. Thanks for the cooking-by-instinct inspiration.

  • David-

    The sardines on the baguette looked amazing! What exactly went in it?

    Fallon

  • Great video David! I feel like I’m there….

  • David, is that the gratin dish you posted about a few years ago that is handmade in Paris — can’t remember the name of it — gorgeous. I think you showed an invitation from them, too. Also love the dish you mixed the sardine pate in, too. Actually everything looked dreamy and wonderful — can’t wait to visit Paris next year :) What a lovely video and you are so handsome!

  • Loved the video, David. Is this a new venture for you? Let’s have some more! It really adds another, wonderful dimension to your blog and photos. I totally have croissant envy. Have tried every bakery in Denver (including four run by French people) and cannot find a croissant that evokes Paris for me. So I guess we are stuck with Williams-Sonoma (that actually ships excellent ones). I’ve noticed sardines and mackerel are making a bit of a comeback – as the sustainable fishing movement takes hold, a lot of fish species are regarded as fished out. Sardines and mackerel are strong tasting but your sardine dish looks delish.

  • Hey, you should really do these more often. I enjoyed it a lot.

  • David, your video is absolutely wonderful. I’m in the midst of planning two weeks in Paris after a 10 year absence, and I’ve never had a kitchen while I was there. So I am excited beyond belief to see you at the market. Oh, I can’t wait. Thank you!

  • I loved the video. Everything looked amazing from the croissants to the sardines to the tarte tartin. You should definitely use the video format more often. Very interesting and insightful to watch what a visit to the market in Paris is like. I want to go back there so badly now!

  • Thank you for this visit today to the market and to your kitchen, I enjoyed it!

  • Great job by Flow Films on the video, and as always, your food looks delicious. In fact, I have yet to make a single recipe from you (both on this website and your great book, “The Sweet Life in Paris”) that hasn’t turned out perfect.

  • i love the videos dave!

    by the way, great addition of korean chile and furikake! nothing like east meeting west on happy terms for once.

  • can we get a bonus clip of you scaring away line-jumpers with that enormously cool basket?

  • I am drooling over here in San Francisco! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • The simplicity of the cooking allows for the flavors to shine. Love your secret ingredients :)

  • Tell me again when you learned to speak French…you sound tres authentique! Where did you get that beautiful basket? And who says this doesn’t look very good, it looks sublime; especially the tarte tatin which I will try to duplicate–unfortunately I don’t have access to that big hunk of yummy looking butter. Can’t wait for the next video.

  • Thoroughly enjoyed your video. Just had dinner but could use some of sardine et baguette. Missing Blvd Lenoir market this time of the year! Oh, and the tarte tatin!!

  • omg. i’ve never heard your voice before. love the laugh. that sardine spread looks great!

  • Loved the video. It’s the first one I’ve seen posted. You should do more!

    Does your Furikake contain MSG? I’m hoping to find one that doesn’t. Off to the Asian market.

  • Thank you David, this was a really great video, I really enjoyed it. You should put up videos more often! There truly is nothing like a French market.

  • David, thank you so much! For somebody feeling home sick, missing baguette, and small markets…. it warmed my heart :’)

  • This video is so lovely; thanks for the little visit to Paris.

  • Bonsoir David. Thank you so much for including the video and taking us with you to this farmers market in Paris — lovely visit. You are so right that farmers market in France are definitely a social experience. I am not sure if you also go to the farmers market on rue Mouffetard in the Latin quarters but we were back home over the summer, stopped in Paris and we got to enjoy shopping for fresh fruits and veggies as street singers where singing classics by Édith Piaf, Charles Trénet, etc. – priceless! We wrote about it here if anybody is interested. À bientôt.

  • Was that one of Ruhlman’s spankettes? Heh. Hope it was a promotional item!

    We love the salmon furikake. Affectionately called furi-cakes. Dunno if they all contain MSG.

    You might also try the seaweed paste. Dad used to put it on his rice each night.

    Thank you for the video!

  • This video was such a treat to watch! It’s done so well and as odd as it may sound, you’ve got a super comforting presence.

    Very cool stuff!

  • I know the Marche a la Bastille, it’s a wonderful market. You are a natural born video star. Your style is so sweet and your instruction is charmingly simple and direct. I loved it. More videos. Philippe

  • Thank you for the wonderful video! We loved seeing you in Paris! My mouth was watering looking at the sardines (yes, the sardines), bread and butter. My daddy used to love opening up a can of sardines (ones in oil or mustard) many years ago and putting them on some saltines in Cheraw, SC. He caught plenty of fresh bream, bass and trout that I loved. So enjoy making your great recipes!

  • I loved this video! It really makes me want to take a trip and live in Paris. The quality of the video was amazing. More videos David!! Those sardines looked delicious and I love how you incorporated furikake and korean chili flakes!!

  • Thank you for the peek into your world, I will be trying tarte tatin very soon, please more videos, you made it seem so effortless !

  • Aude: I know what you mean. As good as the bread can be elsewhere, whenever I travel then return to Paris, I crave a crunchy baguette and race to the boulangerie to get one as soon as I get home.

    Sharon T: Yes, I don’t know why fresh sardines are hard to find in the US. They’re so good, and inexpensive, and good for you as well. (And they’re sustainable, too.)

    Will: Glad you are enjoying the recipes. And the video as well : )

    elaine, victoria & sarah: I do love that Korean pepper. It’s not super spicy, but adds a ’roundness’ to things, and I find myself using it more than black pepper. People might think it’s odd, but then again, most spices that we use (whether in France, or elsewhere) are actually from other countries, so it’s not really odd at all.

  • I love this video! The sound of you slicing into a crusty baguette made me smile. The entire video made me smile. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Gorgeous video my dear. You present yourself so well. Bravo!

  • Beautiful and inspiring, as are all of your posts. Thank you!

  • Fabulous. As if you could be any more loveable!

  • Ooooh David, thank you for a virtual visit to some of my favorite places today. I love the video and it is wonderful to see some of my market (and boulangerie) haunts for when I am in Paris. Merci bien.

  • This video is utterly charming, as are you. Looking forward to replicating your meal, if I can find some Korean pepper.

  • REALLY enjoyed this video!!! absolutely motivated for Paris’ fresh markets and more home cooking now…merci David!!

  • The video is charming. It was a real treat to watch it and see you in action ‘for real’. Well done to you and the filmmakers.

  • OMG, can I come live w/you? I have to admit, those sardines look heavenly! and i don’t eat sardines. Do you need a dish washer? the tarte too… all look delicious!

  • I loved that you showed how easy it is to make a simple and delicious meal of seasonal ingredients. Thanks for the sardine pâté idea – it looks wonderful!
    You’re a natural on camera. Looking forward to more videos!

  • David, thanks for taking us on a tour of your Parisian market– what a treat. Did you put anything on the salad greens?

  • Thanks for inviting us into your home.. We you preparing that plate for me ???? I can only dream.. By the way, do you think I can get authentic French butter in NYC ?? Have you had that experience or is all the “French butter” just a poor knock off ?? Thanks Dave.. Happy Holidays !!!

  • “Some Parisians even take into consideration which market they’ll be close to when determining which neighborhood in Paris they want to live in.” – this is definitely a point! It’s the same around here in Vienna – New, chique Quartiers emerge around small markets. I highly recommend Renaud’s song “Les Bobos”. It’s the Bobos, who visit the market in Vienna, I guess Paris is not that different. :-)

  • David, I share your philosophy… fresh produce and produce markets are my thing. I managed a 32 stall market for ten years. Thanks for sharing your kitchen too. Love this, thanks again.

  • David…you are amazing…

  • This is your best video so far–very relaxed and personal. Love this!

  • Loved your video David. I reminded me some trips to Paris, I always go to market to look at realy people do real thing. Plus, I love what you cooked… I can’t belive potimarrons are that hard to find here in Quebec! I really enjoyed this video and I really wished I could have share your tarte tartin!

  • I really enjoyed this, thank you!

  • Hmm! I think I see the potential for a new Food Network cooking show —-Shopping and Cooking with David in Paris. Go to a Parisian market, meet a purveyor or two, buy some provisions, go home and cook a couple of dishes. Lots of local color, an engaging host, great easy recipes and Paris. What more could you want!!

  • Dear David

    Thank you for a delightful trip around your Paris market. You have really made my day – I’ve watched the video twice already. It brought back happy memories for me of the time I lived in Lugano and visited the open-air market. My favourite vegetable back then was artichoke which my French friend taught me to cook very simply but tasted delicious. I totally agree with you when you say that how food tastes is more important than how it looks. I shall be attempting your recipe for sardine pate.

    Janette

  • David, that sardine pate looks amazing. I will be making it soon.
    The video was fantastic! I do hope you make some more videos, you are really photogenic :)

    What you say about the French not caring about how the food looks but only about how it tastes, stands true for Greeks as well. I guess it’s a Mediterranean thing.

  • I agree with Tom — it would be so much fun to see you go to the market and watch how you prepare what you buy. I’m so burned out on slick cooking shows shown in perfect kitchens where everything and everyone looks so manufactured. I watched your video countless times just to drink in the beauty and calmness of it all. Not to mention the food of which I’m dying to make tarte tatin, sardine pate, and roasted squash or potimarron if I can find it. Also love the idea of buying Korean chile pepper and must find furikake. I think i would use it on countless dishes. If you don’t do a cooking show maybe you could do an ongoing app that you keep updating??

  • Thank you for the nice video! Paris farmers’ markets are the best! Such a great feeling to get up in the morning and buy things from your local market. I posted some pictures of the farmers markets when I was there last spring:

    http://smultronsoul.blogspot.com/2011/03/paris.html

  • I am ravenous now! Can you let us know which market you are at? I visit Paris quite regularly (from Geneva) and we always end up at the Algerian market on Sunday, they have gorgeous stuff (always get the roast baby chickens and cheese for the train ride picnic home -the swiss travelling with us are horrified by the mess) but would love to try a new one.

  • I agree with Kaitlin, you have a very soothing presence. I want to be your friend. Do more videos so I can pretend we’re hanging out together in Paris ;-) You’re spreading a valuable message that food ought to taste yummy and that all of the fussing over how it looks isn’t quite so important. Although your food was pretty enough to make my mouth water….oh, those sardines!

  • David, thanks for sharing. For a few minutes, I felt like I was in Paris.
    Happy Holidays!

  • I am new to your blog… but boy have I been missing out! This is such a lovely video. I love your description of the seasonal produce. Thanks for taking us along on the journey. I am insanely jealous of your croissant by the way!!!

  • Brilliant! I hope you make many many more videos.

  • How lovely to see you again, and what a super glimpse into your sweet Parisian life.

  • oh WOW on the pictures!
    love the commentary Thanks David

  • It’s 8:35am Arizona time and I am salivating all over my keyboard. Attractive no?

  • Just a great video. Thanks.
    Steve

  • What a treat to watch your video! I visited a market in Sept. on my first trip to Paris ( not sure which one, I was wandering ). It was abundant with beautiful fruits and vegetables like in your video. I especially enjoyed watching you implement your market purchases into some lovely dishes. If I wasn’t knee deep in Christmas cookie dough, I would be busy trying out your apple Tarte Tatin recipe! Make merry this holiday season and enjoy! Thank you for your post!

  • love this so much….we enjoy the market on rue vavin on Sundays when we are there…they have an onion and potato tarte that is to die for….

    I’m so impressed by your having the exact change …that’s the only drama..they say the price so fast and so french I end up just shoving money at them and let them take it from my hand…which I’m sure pisses them right off…

    oh well….

    and I agree with Tom..we need you on the food network….IN HD!!

  • DUH….not Vavin…rue Raspail…….thinking metro stop….

  • You are a darling! A sweet life in Paris indeed! :-) Yes MORE MORE MORE videos please….

  • The crunch of the bread as you cut was a sound I miss. And then … I literally opened my mouth when you took that bite of your sardine melange… mmmm.

    dws

  • Great video David!

    That sardine dish sounds so amazing. Wish I could find stuff like that where I live…

  • FABULOUS!!!

  • More please!! This was a wonderful excursion.

  • Loved the video David – it was charming! You should do more of them ….. you brought me back immediatley to the streets of Paris ….. food looked wonderful too!

  • Oh, David. Thank you so much for this video. Because I’ll never see Europe, this is so exciting for me. Please make more videos. You would have laughed when you showed the croissant and I was yelling “come on, David, throw me just one, please?”

  • What a pleasant video. Loved it. The day looks so nice, too, compared to this day here of howling wind. I’ll have to content myself with coffee and munching the florentines that were too odd shaped to gift.
    My husband watched your video and now wants a tarte tatin.