Sunday, April 17, 2011

To the market we go

Before moving to Paris, I wasn't much into food markets or cooking for that matter. I'm quite happy to eat and to eat well  at that, but the whole process of coming up with the plate on the table, is one that I was quite happy to skip.   Having your own hearth and home changes everything though.  Cooking is still a chore for me but it helps a lot that its quite easy to find fresh produce with which to make our family meals.  Today, I discovered the Marche de Place d'Aligre. It is one of the biggest of Paris' markets and consists of the open air market with its numerous stands selling fruits and vegetables and the covered portion.  Its one of the biggest markets in Paris and one of the few remaining ones with a covered area still in use as a market.

The name by which it is known now is a bit misleading as the actual name of the marche is Marche Couvert Beauvau. Aligre was the name of a benefactor of an old hospital which became the site of a square called Square Trousseau. This part of the 12th arrondissement is renowned for its tradition of artisanal furniture thanks to all the ateliers that could once be found here in the area. There are still a number of them to be found in the little side streets that branch off from the big avenue. 

The Marche itself is a huge affair with produce coming from everywhere. Asian and African fruits and vegetables are well represented here.  It is also significantly cheaper than other markets and the stands vie with each other for the customers. It makes for a loud but friendly cacophony and locals rub shoulders with the increasing number of tourists who come to experience a Parisian market. 

I was a bit overwhelmed by all the vegetables and fruits so lavishly displayed. There is even a stand of organically grown vegetables and fruits.  I wonder where they got their pineapples. This stand was easily one of the busiest in the market.

 Loads and loads of deliciously succulent and plump strawberries called gariguettes.  They are in season right now and are served everywhere as the dessert du jour.

All around the market, there are a number of nice little restaurants which have all set out their tables and chairs outside, the better to take advantage of this unseasonable sunshine and warmth.

Even La Gazetta, a cool restaurant with a Swedish chef and Nordic inspired cuisine, have set up their own terrace.

A wonderful area worth many repeated visits. Never has going to the market been more fun!


  1. oh how exciting! you know i've also been seeing pineapples but baby ones or at least smaller than what i'm used to from back home. thanks for these lovely photos.

  2. When marketing is such a breeze like that, what a great way to eat healthy and live healthy!

  3. Wow, how wonderful to have a market like that close to home!