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.
Ready for Dessert (Tarte Tatin Recipe)
It’s Ready! (Video)