Recently in Food Markets category

#2: DOT Paris

I just spent a long weekend in the French countryside, trying to enjoy the last bits of summer before the rentrée, when everyone in Paris returns en masse, usually bronzed to an unsavory crisp.

And because last Friday was a national holiday, I spent a prodcutive morning at a vide grenier, an enormous and pretty fabulous flea market in the town of Esterney.

blue pitchermini gratin dishes

Like anywhere, once you get out the big city, prices drop substantially and I can’t believe the stuff I hauled back to Paris!

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The Reines-Claudes Plums Have Arrived!

apricots & reine claude plums

It’s that time of the year—the season for Reines-Claudes plums in France has arrived!

These little green fruits, no larger than a marshmallow, are perhaps the most delicious fruits in the world. Don’t let the army-green color fool you in to thinking these plums might be tart or sour. If you get a good one, reines-claudes plums (also known as Greengage plums), are the sweetest, most succulent piece of fruit you’ll bite into.

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Two Delicious Dining Guides to Paris


clotildesedibleadventuresinparis.gif

Clotilde Dusoulier is the ultimate Parisian insider, one who shares her tasty tales of life in Paris on her blog, Chocolate and Zucchini. In this very handy guide, a native Parisian happily leads us around Paris, taking us from little-known specialty food shops and classic bistros to authentic Japanese noodle bars and venues for wine tastings.

One of my favorite parts of Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris are tips on how restaurants and food shops work here. For example, knowing that you’re not a “customer” but a “guest” explains a lot of things to foreigners, who are used to the Customer is King attitude.

Other cultural tips, like keeping your hands on the table while you’re eating and not resting your bread on the edge of your plate, are explained so you can avoid making a faux pas, as I did shortly after I arrived in Paris and was scolded for my bread infraction by the host at a dinner party. And I always thought it was rude to scold guests! Who knew?

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What Got Me Really Excited at My Market Today

You might think it was these gorgeous, glowing yellow limes…

limes

…which I’m not sure what I’m going to do with, but their sweet-tangy juice might make a refreshing summertime sorbet.

Or a batch of frosty Mojito Granita?

poulet crapaudine

It wouldn’t be a stretch to think it was coming home with a just-roasted poulet crapaudine, a chicken rubbed with herbs, spices, and a generous amount for salt, which seasons the crackly skin. I’m always wary about buying a whole one, since I’m certain I’d eat it all by myself—in one sitting.

(Not that I’ve ever done that. But I’ve heard about people that do.)

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I Found The Pascal Beillevaire Butter!

I finally got a chance to track down that butter I found worthy of rapture from Le Jules Verne. Oddly, when I searched the name, I found out that I actually commented on way back in 2006. How I forgot about it, I’ll never, ever know.

bread & butter

It’s from Pascal Beillevaire, a chain of cheese shops in France. While their cheeses are very good, I have a little bit of difficulty getting past the beret-wearing salesclerks, theatrical straw mats, and hyper-bright lighting.

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Sunday Dining in Paris

Couscous

Here’s a list of some restaurants in Paris that are open on Sunday. Note that some are quite basic while others may fall into the slightly touristy category. Nevertheless, I still think they’re worthy of a visit. All but the most basic restaurants prefer that diners make reservations.

Another Sunday dining option is to visit one of the outdoor markets and make up a picnic. Markets open on Sunday morning (9am-2pm) include Richard Lenoir (M: Bastille), Aligre (M: Ledru-Rollin), Raspail (M: Sèvres-Babylon), and Place Monge (M: Place Monge).

Astier
44, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud (11th)
Tél: 01 43 57 16 35

Breizh Café
109, rue Vieille du Temple (3rd)
01 42 72 13 77

Excellent buckwheat crêpes served in a casual, yet sparse setting. Especially busy at prime lunch hours.

Café des Musées
49, rue de Turenne (3rd)
01 43 72 96 17

Excellent French food, especially the house-made terrine and steak-frites with bernaise sauce. Desserts always good, and wine by the carafe make everything go down better.

Chez Paul
13, rue de Charonne (11th)
01 47 00 34 57

This traditional French bistro flies under the radar of many but is a great choice for Sunday lunch, especially after a visit to the nearby Richard Lenoir market. Hearty fare.

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G. Detou in Paris

If G. Detou didn’t exist, I couldn’t live in Paris.

G. Detou

Seriously. The overstocked, but impeccably neat shelves at G. Detou do indeed have everything, as the name implies in French (J. Detou is a play-on-words, meaning “I have everything”.) But when you’re someone like me that does an inordinate amount of baking, plus loves…and I mean loves…to discover new and unusual foods and chocolates, a place like G. Detou is truly pastry paradise.

Chocolate

This little shop near Les Halles is stocked, literally, floor-to-ceiling with everything a cook or baker could want. There’s chocolates from across France, including a huge (and I mean huge) selection of bars including Michel Cluizel, Valrhona, Voisin, Weiss, Bonnat, Cacao Barry—the best of l’hexagone.

But even better are the big tablets and sacks that range from 3 to 5 kilos, that hard-cores bakers like me depend on. Although I’m not the only avid chocolate baker in town: When I was in last week, a tiny, meek little old lady came by and left hefting a 3-kilo sack of white chocolate, and a man in a hurry, who didn’t remove the cell phone from his ear while he rattled off his order to the red-coated salesclerk, left with five enormous sacks of chocolate, as well as assorted other goodies.

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Salonenque Olives

Olives

Flavored with crushed branches of fennel, these avocado-green olives are harvested very early and only available for an extremely short time. I’ve been anticipating them ever since Jacques, my favorite olive merchant, started getting excited when he told me about their arrival a few weeks back. So I knew they’d be special.

(If someone who’s been selling olives for twenty-plus years is still excited about a specific olive, believe me, I pay attention.)

Les olives Salonenques are very fresh with a firm, meaty texture and a whiff of aromatic fennel. But these Provencal olives don’t last long, which is why you won’t likely find them outside of France. Jacques will ladle some into a sack, weight them, then add extra liquid to guard against them discoloring, which they do quickly because of their freshness.

You’ll need to eat them relatively soon after you buy them. So get ‘em while you can.

And since I can get ‘em, believe me, I’m eating as many as I can before they’re gone.

Le Soleil Provencal
Richard Lenoir/Bastille Market
Thursday and Sunday
Jacques’ stand is at the center, on the east side, near Le Préau café

(He’s often at the Maubert-Mutualité market in Paris as well.)