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apricotspoulet fermier chèvreboulangerie

Summer was kind of a bust in Paris this year. True, I did spend three weeks away. But from what everyone told me, Paris was just like the city I came home to; gray and overcast. One of the rewards of living in Paris is summer. After surviving the bleak, cold winter, the payoff is sitting in outdoor cafés drinking cold rosé in the heat or engaging in un pique-nique with friends by the Seine, taking advantage of the extra long days.


Most businesses in Paris shut down for summer holidays, usually beginning around the end of July and re-opening later in August. In the past few years, since the economy hasn’t been so fabulous, more and more places have stayed open. Another factor is unrest in many French-speaking countries outside of France where the French have traditionally taken their vacations. Plus the weather hasn’t been so great in the rest of France either. So spending a few weeks on a chilly beach in Brittany or under the clouds on the shores of la Côte Basque isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. And as you know, many Europeans wear Speedo-style bathing suits and, well, let’s fact it – not many men want to be lounging around on a very chilly beach in a soul-baring swimsuit, myself included.


Yet the best thing about August in Paris is that it’s less-crowded and not insanely hot. (And quite a few of my Parisian friends say August is the best month in Paris because it’s “Paris sans les Parisiennes.) Although I lived in San Francisco for a few decades, where air-conditioning wasn’t necessary (because the city is naturally air-conditioned), when it’s hot in New York City, you just step into the subway or a shop and cool down immediately. In Paris, it’s harder to cool down as most places aren’t climatisée. And even if they are, the temperature remains tepid, at best. So it’s hard to complain about the mild weather when you’ve lived through a few heat waves.

campari tomatoes fermeture exceptionnelle

Another interesting thing about les congés, or “closures” is that bakeries by law are supposed to work in sync with either other in the various neighborhoods so that one remains open if the others are closed.


For some reason, this year, no one in my neighborhood got the memo – or the authorities are on break, too – and when I came back from New York, ravenous for a lovely loaf of good ol’ French bread, all the good bakeries* were shut tight. But even the bakers and other merchants who remain in town during August often have “wildcat” days in which they close at will, otherwise known as a fermeture exceptionnelle. And there’s an unwritten law about those which is that the farther away you have to go to get somewhere, the more likely it is that there will be a sign in the window for a fermeture exceptionnelle. If you look closely, in the picture of the boulangerie at the top of the page, there’s a small sign noting an impromptu fermeture exceptionnelle.

flat peaches

(*In spite of what people think, there’s a good number of not-stellar bread bakeries in Paris. I have my favorites and if you’re going to eat bread, you may as well eat the good stuff. It’s one thing that I’m a persnickety about. And cheese, too. I’m, working my way up to being more selective about wine, but for now, I’m still a fairly cheap date.)

radishes pain poilane

Thankfully Poilâne sells their bread in supermarkets and I finally gave up my scavenger hunt and took the easy way out. (And hey, one could do a lot worse than pain Poilâne, even if it’s from the supermarket.) But the other obstacle I’ve been facing is that for some reason, the jet lag upon my return has been formidable and I’ve been falling asleep around 4:30am and waking up around noon, just in time to miss the markets.

Nautical shirts

And although I’m fine buying Poilâne bread at the grocery store, I refuse to buy produce in them if I can help it, because of the disappointing quality. And I don’t like buying cheese in them either because if people continue to do so, the culture of the fromagerie will disappear. And who wants that to happen? Especially me, because I’d have to move.

lines terrier

And also, well, it’s because I like shopping at the market. Luckily there are still lines at the nice folks that run the crèmerie at mine that sells cheese. And in August, if you don’t oversleep, you can catch the last of the summer fruits like peaches, white nectarines, and best of all, Reines-Claudes plums, which – if you get a good batch – are the best fruit you’ll ever taste. And I’m not exaggerating.

reines-claudes plums

Of course, a lot of the stall owners are gone on break as well, and in their place, there are people selling t-shirts, Eiffel tower statues, African statues, and yes, even people hawking scarves in August. Although with the less-than-optimal weather, I’ll admit I’ve kept a few scarves handy on my coat rack. (And seasoned locals know better than to pack away their sweaters as well.)

shirt vendor beans in duck fat

Speaking of apparel, something that’s become popular this year are les marinières, or French sailor shirts. No, people in Paris don’t generally wear berets, but they do have a curious love of anything nautical, even though the closest somewhat large body of water is the Seine. Although it’s not exactly a place you want to set sail. Or worse, capsize. I’ve been tempted to get one of those shirts myself, to be part of the jaunty crowd, but when I met up with two friends recently and both showed up wearing them, I decided to stick with the normal uniform of basic black.

Since I was able to get out of bed before noon today, I bought a lot of fruit, some tomatoes, and a bunch of basil from the only stand with bunches of it. Because I’m trying to dial down how much I’m eating for a while, after an over-indulgent trip to New York (and that’s putting it mildly…), I’m happily eating my way through anything and everything that’s I can get my hands on that’s a fresh fruit or vegetable. Last night I made a tomato-avocado salad with garlic toasts from my pain Poilâne and today, I chopped up some of that basil and a bit of fresh garlic and made a blitz-style Panzanella with the leftovers that had been soaking all night in the vinaigrette.

I’m probably going to eat most of the fresh fruit as is. (Well, if I can manage to emerge victorious from a first-time inundation by fruit flies.) I did buy a kilo of apricots because someone I know keeps buying jam at the supermarket when he runs out, which is folly because normally during the summer, I am a jam-making machine. So instead of being triste that summer has—at least weather-wise, been a bit of a bust, I’m making do with what I have. And I’m not complaining.


Summer Recipes

White Chocolate-Fresh Ginger Ice Cream with Nectarine and Cherry Compote

Apricot Jam

Vanilla Ice Cream

Upside Down Cake

French Tomato Tart

Plum-Rhubarb Crisp

Polenta Crisp Topping



    • Nancy

    We spent last August in Paris, and althought the Sunday market didn’t have les marinières, it did have the wonderful fruit and cheese you mentioned. It also had the rain that we have today in NYC where I will go to the New Amsterdam Market and look for goodies. It sounds like you are happy to be home.

    • Kim

    I can’t believe some men still wearing speedo… here in Quebec, it’s the comble du mauvais goût! Paris is a wonderful city and I feel it in a that you blog… I love reading your posts!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      A lot of people don’t know why (or how) older men in Europe can still wear Speedo-style swimwear and I’ve learned it’s because all the public pools absolutely require men to wear them, along with bathing caps. (Which is weird because I have less hair on my head than some men have on their backs.)

      You can’t wear square-cut Speedo-style suits, either. They have to be the very tiny ones because of le hygiene, which I don’t quite understand. Although someone explained it to me that if they let people start wearing other kinds of suits, it will lead to people wearing shorts and things in public pools. Am not sure why they just can’t say “You have to wear a swimsuit of some sort, no shorts” but then again, us men over 50 wouldn’t get to feel so humiliated. Um…

    • Jessica @ thejesspress

    The weather has been sort of disappointing down here in Toulouse as well. But luckily the markets are far from a letdown. I’m glad you mentioned the fermatures of August. It’s one of my favorite things to walk around town and compare all the different hand written signs. (And yes, my French boyrfriend thinks I’m crazy for it.)

    • Caroline

    I’m very proud of you, David. I, too, am losing the the war on jetlag, but did not manage to get out of bed and to the market this morning. Thank goodness I bought some brick pastry at the Ramadan sale in my neighborhood yesterday… and got a big old dollop of chevre at the fromagerie.

    Though I should probably stick to the all vegetable regime like you–still recovering from all of the le cheeseburgers my frenchie made me eat while we were in the US eating at all of the same restos as you :)

    • Zaz

    Leave out a bowl of apple cider vinegar with a squirt of dish soap in it and in a few days you will have a delicious bowl of marinated fruit flies.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Zaz: I tried that (along with various other remedies) and unfortunately, it didn’t work. Best solution is to cover things with dishtowels, although you’ve got to be sure to check under them daily to see if your fruit is getting (too) ripe.

    caroline: I’ve been thinking that with the way Parisians have taken to eating hamburgers, and their love of beef, someone should open a really great hamburger bar in Paris with freshly ground beef, juicy burgers, good buns (not the ones they usually use, from the supermarket) and well-cooked, crisp French fries. If someone wants to launch that, I think they’d do really well.

    • Caroline

    ha ! well, though I have plans for another type of career entirely, I may or may not have spent the last 24 hours trying out several different hamburger bun recipes. If my musical aspirations don’t work out… maybe… just maybe…. next up, potato rolls !

    • The Celiac Husband

    Yes, the markets in Paris were a highlight of our whirlwind tour of Paris this July.
    The variety of different products on offer is amazing.

    We spent an afternoon around Place Denfer Rocherau, where some of the stores were incredible to visit.
    A Fresh Pasta vendor, a store that sells bulk Olive oils, wild game meats in another, cheese stores of course and everything else I could not fit into into the luggage to take back.

    • Liz @ Butter and Onions

    I may fit in well in Paris, since I seem to gravitate toward the nautical look, which makes no sense at all being that I am originally from Nebraska. I, too, have had a summer of overindulgence, starting with a 10-day trip to San Francisco. I’m starting to scale back, too, and luckily here in NC it’s easy to find seasonal produce to help me in that mission. Speaking of which, I see a photo of pattypan squash. Have you ever cooked with it? It looks so interesting, but I admit I’m a bit intimidated by it.

    • Sophie Delphis

    How I miss Reines-Claudes! I’ve always loved them dearly,but I’ve never found them since moving to the United States.

    • Ann

    Beautiful! I don’t live near a farmers market, but I don’t pass up a road-side stand. We have peaches all over here in the South right now…and boiled peanuts! A local flavor. Great pictures, as always!

    • Judith Klinger

    We may have abundant sunshine and summer weather, but you have strawberries. Count your blessings.
    -Greetings from Umbria, Italia.

    • Valerie Manzo-Wong

    Winding down my trip to Provence/Paris. Sorry to have missed you in New York. Love love your Paris. And you.


    • parisbreakfast

    I never get jetlag coming to Paris but I get up at 4ish normally.
    Coming home to NY is always hell…wish I could take a boat next trip whilst eating Reines-Claudes plums….

    • mes yeux ouverts

    I thought the burgers and fries at Café Charlot were pretty good and seemed quite popular the day I was there last winter. Or maybe it was just the ambience of branché Paris. Can’t wait to try Reine Claude plums someday! Thanks for all the great posts and mouth-watering photos.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I agree. The burgers and fries at Café Charlot are very good and yes, pretty popular. (Although I think I ordered the cheeseburger once and it had that orange square of cheese melted on top.) But the regular burger still need that je ne sais quoi…to make them into a nice, juicy burger.

    • Julie Lowry

    Small world – I am in the middle of my Paris vacation and was also at the market today. I even bought a poulet crapaudine from the chicken folks in your first picture and took a similar picture of that same stack of radishes. I wonder if we rubbed elbows and I didn’t know it. :)

    • Patricia Shea

    Wow…look at the boulangerie storefront…it’s beautiful…what is the name of that store please Sir? – why don’t all stores look like that!! Also for ze jetlag – have you tried keeping a small light on all night and I found when I travelled to japan a lot that a good dose of wheatgrass in tablet form before, during and after negated the problem completely…really!! Bon chance avec la!! Patricia

    • Kim Uyyek

    I’ve told my students about the “bakery law”. Do you know where I can find it in writing? (I often share your blogs as part of the cultural aspect of my French classes.)

    • Kim Uyyek

    Never mind about the law – I just read the article from the mairie de Paris :)

    • Will

    The boulangerie you have pictured at the top of this post is gorgeous. I can only imagine how heartbroken I would have been to go to the door and see “fermeture exceptionnelle” in the window…sort of like having a beautiful woman beckon you across the room, only to find out when you get there that she was gesturing to someone else.

    Man, I miss Paris.

    • Kate McDermott

    Love the photo of the apricots. They always remind me of…well, little baby bottoms! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.

    • Eva Grodberg

    David, those No Jet Lag pills really work. If you can’t find them in Paris, you should be able to order them from the Magellan’s ad on my site. Really really miss the Reine Claude’s!

    • Jennifer Dery

    What a lovely article to read this morning! I felt like I had a mini-vacation while sipping my espresso. Thank you!

    • Jeremy

    Life in the Perigord region is heaven on earth … indeed, Paris is the ‘royal city’ of this fantastic country.

    With delightful places to eat, great markets and a creative mind, food dishes are never boring.

    The Parisian markets are a real treat for the city dwellers.

    • Nancy@acommunaltable

    Hello David!!

    Loved reading this post – It brought back lots of wonderful memories of our trip to Paris a couple of years ago (in August!). Our first stop was the Bastille market – what I wouldn’t give for that market here!!!

    Your comments about Speedo’s made me laugh – here it seems we have the opposite problem – young men venturing into the surf in cut offs and sweatshirts!!!

    Also, just a “thank you” – Made your chocolate sauce last night for about 12 teenage boys to go with my peanut butter pie – the bowl was licked clean and they all wondered if I could ship containers of it to them at college :-) !

    • Cherie in Atlanta

    For an easy way to banish fruit flies try this
    fill a small glass with apple cider vinegar or red wine and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Set glass out around where the flies populate and wait. Very quickly the flies will be gone. PROMISE.

    • Traci

    We had that type of summer here in southern California last year. Barely saw the sun at all. You end up feeling a bit ripped-off.

    • Melanie

    Texas+August=super heat & Sun! We have the monopoly on sun & heat this summer :)

    • vrinda

    So David are you coming to Berkeley for Chez panisse’s 40th ?
    I’ve been reading your blog about Paris in such and such a month and am hoping you’ll do the same for December.
    We’re going to be renting an apt for a week in Dec. so I hope there will be something in the markets worth cooking.
    You know here Dec. in CA. is the same as any other month !
    Please keep the blog going with Parisian tips (because I’ll need them).
    many thanks

    • Nick

    This is only vaguely related to this recent blog. I was, as usual, leafing through the various links to other bits of your histoire, and stumbled on the apple jelly. Sounds really scrumptious. But if as you say there is some thing off a glut – my neighbour has a very old Bramley apple tree (old variety of cooking apple, souffles up wonderfully went baked in the oven, and is used to make a different type of apple pie.) I scrump a few kilos and make a chillie version. The apple part is the same- wash, chop, cook, strain with patience. Add same weight of sugar as juice, reduce until temp is 104C. Add a teaspoon of chillie flakes but take care it foams up the pan like no body’s business! I sterilise my jars cause I have a quite high yield.
    Anyway this now sweet savoury jam is delicious with pork or poultry, hot or cold.
    The baked apples by the way are an old english dish. Wash, core slit round the equator put in a dish, fill the core hole with demararra sugar add a squeeze of lemon. Medium hot oven for half an hour, the sugar becomes a caramel, the flesh a white foam and absolutely delicious. Sweet, sharp, bitter and brilliant.

    • la domestique

    I always enjoy seeing your market photos. Definitely jealous of the plums. It seems that my garden in Colorado is peaking before my very eyes. I sat for a moment today, taking it all in. Autumn is coming. It’s always fun to see what August looks like in other countries, like France. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kathleen

    What are the fruits in your picture that look like flat, disc-shaped nectarines? We have been seeing those in the London street markets for the first time this summer. They are delicious, but we don’t know what they are.

    • Fabiana Bee

    Hi David!! I really love reading your website…cause I love Paris and here it is like a perfect place to be! =)
    Reading your tips and comments are like being around Paris…considering I spent 9 months around there last year…It’s good to be at home but sometimes I’m in crysis!! And when I’m here I’m like under control!!

    I had arrived in Paris in the end of winter and I left in the end of autumn..and sometimes I can’t decide if I prefer Paris in spring or summer..considering nowadays in Brazil we are in winter and it’s 26°C but 3 weeks ago was like 8°C!

    Sorry about my english, my mother language is portuguese, and havind french, english and spanish in my head..sometimes they can make me crazy! =)

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Stephen

    Missed you at the market today, though we saw everything you’ve photographed. I had to explain the plums to my SoCal retrosexual husband. Bought a kilo of salt for making caramels and a few flavored ones for gifts. Have you tried that tour montparnasse cheese? I may try to get some on Thursday. Not sure what we are doing for bread tomorrow with that boulangerie closed. I’ll be switching back to all veg when return to San Francisco myself. Perhaps I’ll run into you again, but say hello this time!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Patricia: It’s Au Levain du Marais (28 boulevard Beaumarchais). They do have a lovely façade, don’t they? (They’ve just changed owners, too.)

    Kathleen: They’re called pêche plat, or “flat peaches.” In the US, they often call them “Saturn” or “Doughnut” peaches.” There are also flat nectarines as well. The peaches are usually white-fleshed and pretty terrific.

    Nancy: You’re welcome : )

    Vrinda: There are powerful forces in Berkeley luring me back….! Time will tell…

    Nick: It’s early for apples here, but glad you were able to create a good variation with that recipe. I’m looking forward to making more in October…

    Kim: I did post a picture of one of the “congés annuels” signs on my Flickr page.

    • Phyllis Kirigin

    David, you’re so right. Jams and preserves are so easy to make. There’s little reason to buy them at the supermarket. Fresh apricots, however, do not have a very intense flavor, so I include a small amount of chopped dried apricots to intensify the flavor a bit and add tartness. You might want to try it.

    • Linda H

    I have a Saturn peach tree. It’s very choosy about if and when it’s going to produce a good crop, but the peaches are the sweetest white peaches I’ve ever found.

    • Claudia Miranda

    Hi David,

    I just moved to Paris a week ago for about a year, because I will be attending cooking school to get a Diplome de Patissierie. I have been trying to find markets, where I can go buy my food, but haven’t been very succesful, can you please tell me where is this market, and is it only on Sundays???

    Thank you, and hope I can catch you in any upcoming boook signings you have here in Paris, since of course I bought your book (I just began reading it last night) to bring along with me as my guide to eat my way through Paris!!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It’s the Richard Lenoir market, at the Bastille. There are a number of markets in Paris on Sunday, including the Marché d’Aligré and Raspail. The city of Paris publishes a list of markets in Paris, and their site offers an option to see which ones happen on which days.

      I’ll be doing an event in October here in Paris. You can check it out on my Schedule page.

    • Karen Brown

    Oh, the sight of the Reine-claudes ( here in New Zealand they’re known as greengages) made my heart melt. They are my favourite stone fruit, and only appear in our NZ markets for a painfully brief period. I like to gorge myself silly on them, then set to some jam making. They are one of those fruits that seem to lose all their flavour if the jam boils to a firm set, so I stick to a somewhat sloppy texture, and a glorious flavour. Cheers from the Antipodes, Karen.

    • Thea

    Persnikety? You? and I always look closely at your photos.

    • sundevilpeg

    The way to go with apricot jam? Chop the apricots; add a couple of chopped nectarines. Macerate the fruit in a saucepot with the sugar, a pinch of kosher salt, and a halved vanilla bean. Go about your business for an hour or so, then proceed with the jam. Ooh-la-la!

    • Skippy

    Ugh, fruit fly invasion. I suffered through that last year courtesy of a roommate who didn’t realize, while I was out of town, that if you put food leavings in the garbage and then don’t take the garbage out for over a week, it will attract flies. I did a full on attack–fly paper, wiped everything in the kitchen down with bleach constantly, and finally, attacked with the most important weapon: a bowl of wine with some apple cores in it, covered tightly with plastic wrap, with small holes poked into it. The flies dive in, feast on the deadly sangria, and can’t haul themselves out. But at least they die drunk.

    • Samantha

    This post just brought me straight back to my gloomy, yet absoutely wonderful month in Paris. I was there in July for a month long study abroad program with my University, and miss it like crazy! Before I left, I discovered your blog through some Google searching and immediately ordered The Sweet Life in Paris. I cannot thank you enough for all of the insight and restaurant recommendations! All of the cultural information was RIGHT on the money (I couldn’t believe that the fad with the older men wearing fishing vests was actually true!) and much of it saved me from some potentially sticky situations. My friends and I enjoyed hunting down the places you recommended and especially enjoyed L’As du Fallafel and Maoz, the Eric Kayser bakery, Pierre Hermé, Pozzetto, and Ladurée (I carried your book around a lot of the trip!). One of my friends had been dreaming of getting soufflé while in Paris, and when I found your recommendation for Chez Dumonet, I knew we had to go. We went for our very last meal in Paris and it was one of the best meals of my life. Thank you for making my trip insanely delicious and I continue to enjoy your blogs and reliving the memories today!

    • Maureen in Oakland

    Come to Berkeley! And while you are eating with Alice and company, pick up some melatonin (which I think you need a prescription for in France) which will help with your California jet lag AND the jet lag once you get back to Paris.

    • Bradley Heilbrun

    Poilâne opened a branch in the Marais.

    Google maps and everyone else seems to have missed the memo, but I ran across this wonderfully surprising piece of info on their website.

    Which is great news because my breakfast de rigueur is a thick slice of miche, toasted and covered in creamy scrambled eggs. Sprinkled with sea salt, bien sûr. (Thanks for the tip on good fleur de sel.)

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I did post a short note and photo about it in July with the address. It’s a small outlet for the bakery as well as a restaurant for tartines. (open-faced sandwiches)

    • K. Pfeiffer

    > They’re called pêche plat, or “flat peaches.” In the US, they often call them “Saturn” or “Doughnut” peaches.”

    In Germany they are called ‘Bergpfirsisch’ [mountain peaches]. Why? I don’t know, but the flesh is quite tasty.

    • adrian

    So, that’s what the green plums are called? I’ve been buying them lately here from my greengrocer and they really are special. The closer you get to the pit the more fruity/sour they become. I eat them all the time, but my greengrocer couldn’t tell me the name, he just said plums from France.
    The good weather seems to have gone on vacation. It’s been exceptionally bad here in Bavaria this year too. Wonder what it’s like in Italia at the moment, hmm.

    • James Ball

    After reading about your fruit fly debacle, I think you may not have fruit flies at all, but another kind that a similar to fruit flies. Drain flies are small like fruit flies and hover around anything sweet or fatty. Here in New Orleans this summer we had a rash of them everywhere. They breed in the drains where food collects and have to be treated aggressively. It took me a week to get rid of them at my house.

    • Martha in KS

    I really enjoy your photo tours. Could you please label the photos so we don’t have to ask “where is that”, and “what is that”? Though you’re the best at answering comments and questions from your loyal fans. Thank you.

    The photos are labeled. Since the photos are hosted on Flickr, if you hover your mouse over them, a label should pop up (depending on your browser.) You can also click on any picture on the site and it will take you to the page where it is, which has a description and more information, as time permits me to add. -dl

    • heather_kaye

    I always love the slice-of-life posts, but your picture of that pile of radishes completely made my day – thanks!

    • Boho Farm and Home

    Oh… I want to close my eyes and click my heels and get some of those Reines-Claude plum to make some jam! Laughed so hard about the bakery memos…oh Paris.

    • Gretchen @

    Oh fermeture exceptionnelle! I have only been to Paris once, and I saved going to the Musee d’Orsay until my last day there (because I was really looking forward to it). Unfortunately for me, the workers for that museum went on strike for the day, and it was closed. I won’t make that mistake the next time I go!

    • Annabel (Mrs Redboots)

    Paris in August! I do remember one summer Sunday, many, many years ago, an English friend saying that he had been tempted to enquire, on the métro that morning, “s’il y avait quelqu’un qui parle le francais?” (Can’t do cedillas on this machine, for some reason).

    I adore greengages, and they are hard to come by here; also those flat peaches – I bought some last week. Apparently kids will eat them when they won’t eat ordinary peaches, because they think they are like doughnuts!

    If you freeze your summer bounty, you can make jam in small batches (so much nicer when fresh!) all year round.

    • Karen in Concord, MA

    Tomato sandwiches are a favorite and easy lunch/dinner in August. Whip up some fresh basil and garlic with mayonnaise, slather it on crusty bread, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and enjoy. Heirlooms and beefsteaks are perfect, but any ripe summer tomato will do. Fresh corn on the cob rounds out the meal nicely, but can you find corn on the cob available in Paris?

    • Kate @ Savour Fare

    C’est vrai. We were in Paris for a week in mid-July and it rained EVERY day. We did make it to Bistroy Les Papilles just before its fermeture annuelle and had a really wonderful meal, so thanks for the recommendation. And even in a rainy July, Paris does have its consolations. And I rank Reine-Claudes right up there in that list.

    • Carine_07

    For me, the best plums are the mirabelles without any question.

    • Julie

    Oh my–when I saw those nautical shirts, all I could think was, “Hey, mime shirts!” I never knew they were called nautical shirts.

    • Ilke

    Oh that Fresh Tomato Tart has my name on it!
    I tend to buy lots of tomatoes in summer! But I refuse to eat them loaded with mayo like many Southerners here do.
    It must be nice to get back home…

    • Affordable Medical Insurance

    Love love your Paris. And you.

    • Astorienne

    Dear David;
    Your blog is so inspiring! Two weeks ago I happened across sour cherries ($2.50/lb, a steal, so I bought 3) in my Astoria, Queens, NYC, fruit market; about 1/2 lb. got pitted, halved & baked into scones. The rest became about 16 oz. of the loveliest jam (your No-Recipe version). Today the little wheels in my head turned to the tune of apricots. I bought 2-1/2 lbs. (at $1.99/lb.) on the way home tonight. Now I just have to decide if the confiture will keep well in plastic screw-top jars (filling them after the jam cools a bit, of course) or if I must shop for glass before using your Apricot Jam recipe… Thank you for writing about your passion for food.

    • june2

    You should sell those French sailor shirts on your website. Please? Thanks.

    • Zeph

    As I read this post of yours down to the last sentence…the last picture’s just killing me! And I’m quite certain it’s gonna remain in my mind for so long torturing me to eat one—those bright red sweet looking strawberries! Anyways, thanks for the post.

    • iMark

    Wow – I never knew French cafe’s and shops closed for the summer months. Probably because I could not yet afford to go there. In some sense I’m glad that they HAVE to stay open. It gives us tourists more time to experience their wonderful food. The photo-diary is beautiful man, and it really tells the story in a much better, visual way! Keep it up. I could almost smell those ripe peaches!

    • Diane

    I only have one baker here locally that I really love their bread, I hate it when they go on holiday! They also close on Mondays during the rest of the year so I now make my own on those days. Mmmmmm the vanilla ice cream recipe looks good. Diane.

    • Lemon

    Amazing photos on the Paris market. I absolutely love Parisian markets, but also those in other places in France. Apart from the nice way how everything is presented the variety of food and products and their quality is fabulous. Thanks for taking the reader to a walk along Parisian markets. By the way, I just came back from Bretagne, finally the weather was not too bad during the last week, sunshine and afternoons at the beach, with a crêpe for dinner…

    • Ken Gallant

    David…this will be bookmarked as one of your best posts ever!! I almost cried when I saw the photo of that mountain of radishes! Just last evening after many bottles of rosé a friend reminisced about my habit of eating radish sandwiches made with a fresh baguette, coarse salt and sweet butter for breakfast when we were in France(an old habit I picked up from my French father) and all day I couldn’t get the thought of those radishes out of my head.

    Merci for the memories!! Parfait!!

    • Sweet Freak

    There is just nothing more wonderful than an open-air market in France. Gorgeous photos that capture the spirit and flavor!

    • James

    The law of the bakeries sounds interesting! Would a great short film…

    • Claire

    As a scientist, I have to love fruit flies….but as a cook, I hate them passionately. I usually leave out a bowl of water with sugar, vinegar, and dish soap mixed in. The sugar and vinegar brings in the flies and the soap coats them, making it impossible for them to fly/crawl out. They’re trapped and dead. If they’re small guys, you can cut the lid off a water bottle and invert it, making a funnel they can crawl into but not out of.

    • Naina

    Ugh, I’m so jealous of those strawberries. The Italians take their August vacation very seriously, and there have been no strawberries at the Campo di Fiori for two weeks! Also, I wish Rome had a similar law about staggering bakery closures, especially when I am suffering severe heat-induced laziness.

    • Kitchen Vignettes

    This post makes me miss Paris so desperately. Ahhhhh. The fromageries, the patisseries, the boulangeries, the markets, the jolly shouting vendors, thanks for taking me back!

    • Anna

    very beautiful pictures!

    • Emily of The Best of this Life

    I have a curious love of all things nautical too! Great post & photographs, thanks for sharing the experience. I would love to be in Paris…toute suite!

    xo Emily Lynne

    • Elke

    I completely agree about the quality of the bread, when I lived in Paris (7eme arrondissement near Ecole Militaire metro stop), I remember going to various bakeries within a reasonable walking distance, trying to find THE baguette, going to a different place every few days or so. Finally, after a few weeks, I found an excellent boulangerie on avenue Rapp with bread just the way I and my husband like it–crusty on the outside and tender on the inside, with a perfect taste. When we moved to the 19th arrondissement later on, we never did find a decent baguette near our apartment. It was quite an eye-opener to realize that even in Paris, sometimes it can be hard to find a good loaf of bread!

    Really enjoyed reading this entry, thanks!

    • Catalina

    I love markets and this one is just adorable. I would make trips everywhere just to walk into the open air markets, smell the fruits and vegetables, checks the meat, escargots, cheese etc. Take the market’s pulse, as we say around here.

    Among the french meat traditional recipes I love the rillettes (pork, duck, rabbit, salmon). Found some recipes few days ago and will get some canard and make some, to spoil myself and my man with some fine delicacy.

    Thank you for the lovely images :)

    • phillip boyle

    You leave me with lots of fond memories and itchy feet. I want to be back in Paris even if the weather is no better than here in Sydney.


    • Run Fast Travel Slow

    I really enjoyed your photos — love your photo of the langoustine. It must be sort of refreshing to have cooler weather in Paris after spending time in NY.

    And I couldn’t agree more about always eating good bread and cheese!

    • Chefdujour

    I realize that the markets in Paris are amazing, in fact they are all over Europe. I adored the Boqueria in Bacelona. I would like to share about heat stricken Texas. It’s god awful hot here. In the Dallas/Ft.Worth area we almost broke the 1980 record of 42 100+ days in a row. We hit 40, all of July and part of August. But East Texas still had a fabulous peach crop. I got a bunch of my favorite, freestone, last weekend. I made a few quarts of peach ice cream from the recipe in your ice cream book. I was lucky to get the Cuisinart professional ice cream maker for $75 at Big Lots. The were selling boxed ones for $150 and I got the demo for $75. It is fab. I also made peach sorbet. I took my frozen treats for a division meeting/luncheon on Monday. They reminded everyone of family late summer treats of fresh peach ice cream. I did infuse a bit of fresh ginger in the sorbet. It added a nice touch. Thanks for writing that wonderful book. Can’t wait for the next time you visit Central Market..

    • Katie B

    I love you David. Can we be friends? Seriously, I’ve enjoyed becoming a follower of your blog. As someone who is married to a Frenchman, has lived in Paris (now currently back in the States in good ol’ San Francisco)…I can completely relate to this post and many others. When I lived in Paris, I was a tad shocked at the quality of produce in the supermarkets…to be honest it wasn’t horrible (as in, I’ve seen worse, ur um in the US), but I suppose I expected more from la France. Since I love love love spending time and money on food (the former I had a lot of, the latter not so much) shopping in general, it was my favorite past time to shop at the boulangeries, fromageries, and so on.

    I thought this was the norm but in fact learned that many of my French friends opted almost always for convenience and went to the supermarché. I couldn’t understand this. I’ve also experienced visiting inlaws (who are absolutely the most generous of souls) who almost exclusively shop at Auchan…ack…and or Monoprix and bring back boxed croissants. Mon dieu! I almost cried during my last trip because this happened 3x! I had to finally put up a secret, silent protest and step out to buy my real, freshly baked croissants at the boulangerie.

    People, I don’t go to France to buy industrial anything, especially food! This is the land of artisanal everything and it’s still so easy to pop out your door and get it. Unlike in SF, if there’s a good baker the damn place becomes an over-crowed, hipster hangout, almost not worth the trouble just to get your damn bread. Ha! I sound like a nut I know. Alas, I will close by simply saying thank you, and if ever make my way back to Paris, I would love to make your acquaintance. I work a bit in wine…I love shopping for that too! Bonne rentrée!

    • Eva Bill

    Im so glad that I found your blog, we are leaving for Paris tomorrow and I think I have copied all your apps.
    Thanks for a great website and beautiful pictures!!


    • Erin Hutton


    Such gorgeous photos! The tomatoes look especially lovely.

    Sorry to hear about your fruit fly problem. I’ve got a first time infestation myself and have had some tragic results. A beautiful bowl of cherry tomotoes got ransacked, probably because there was one broken one in the bottom. I’ve taken to roasting my cherry tomatoes as soon as I get them in the house now so that I can store them far away from the flies! Good luck with your fruit!

    • Olivia

    Oh David, please don’t put ideas in my head. I own a burger joint here in Sydney and I’m in love with Paris (thanks to you). All I need is a little shove and I’ll be on the next plane out to Paris looking for a good butcher. Im told by my customers we have the best burgers and chips (i think so too) in Sydney which brings up a question about ‘chicken salt’. It’s a flavoured salt for chips and extremely popular here. Wondering if it’s used in the US or Paris ?

    I might do some research on burgers around the world and how people make them. Here in Sydney, privately owned burger shops dont generally have pickles or mustard on their burgers like McDonalds does. Ours are served “aussie” style with lettuce, tomato and beetroot as a base salad. The “works” burger is put together with a 120g beef pattie, egg, bacon and cheese. Oh, and the bacon and egg rolls seem to be the ultimate hangover cure on a Saturday morning.

    Would love to hear about burgers from everyone’s town. Ok, I’m off to work now.

    • Steve

    If you’re planning on becoming more selective about wine I’d suggest you skip shopping at the caviste pictured here–they have a bottle of Hess Select Chardonnay in the window. You can do a lot better than that in Paris.

    • Joy

    We are heading to Paris this week (1st timers) and enjoyed your blog. Also LOVED your book The Sweet Life in Paris. I made your Dulce De Leche brownies for friends this week and they were a hit! We are looking forward to trying out the places your have recommended to buy pastries, breads, etc. The outdoor markets sound fabulous.


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