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QUALITY FOOD PRODUCE IN PARIS
Rungis, a treat for hungry eyesParis
Marché international de Rungis
Avenue des Charentes
+ 33 (0) 383501085
The food markets of Paris – including, of course, Rungis, the Parisian market – represent in and of themselves a veritable gourmet tour, unlike any other! Parisians love their small distributors, free from the yoke of mass marketing and bulwarks of healthy eating. But where are they to be found? Follow the guide!
Who to trust?
Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to rely on only the outward appearance of fruits and vegetables in order to eat well. I have a technique to avoid being fooled at unfamiliar Parisian markets: I simply locate the stand with the longest queue. The only downside is that I spend hours waiting, which isn't much fun.
Rungis, a treat for hungry eyes
Another, more enjoyable technique is to go meet the growers and producers directly. At 5 in the morning, only a short distance from the Porte d'Italie, the world's largest fresh-food market opens its doors. So as no to get lost, à la carte tours organized by market professionals allow visitors to discover the "5 Worlds" (fish, meats, fruits & vegetables, dairy products and flowers), complemented by a market-fresh breakfast à la Rungis. How about a dozen oysters accompanied by a glass of white wine*, at 8 in the morning?
Meet the producers
At Rungis, to buy regional, head to the "Carreau des Producteurs", a proud symbol of resistance to standardization. Open since 2004, this fragrant island within the market gathers together some one hundred fruit and vegetable growers from the Ile-de-France region, come to sell direct to consumers their Marie-Madeleine apples, Milly-la-Forêt mint, Gros Vert de Laon artichokes, Montreuil asparagus, Chasselas de Thomery grapes, Méréville watercress and Milan-Aubervilliers cabbages (by the crate, only).
If you hit it off with one of these growers, he'll surely invite you to visit his farm and explain how to shop without being fooled!
* Alcoholic beverages should be consumed in moderation. Please drink responsibly.
Comfortable in working-class neighbourhoods and the tonier areas of Paris, I never get tired of rediscovering this timeless city. The Sex Pistols set the pace when I was younger. New technologies fill my working days now. My little extra: discovering fine eating spots around the capital for romantic dinners!