In the years since I launched Paris Paysanne, I've visited over 50 of Paris' 80 + open air food markets. My visits have brought me to new neighborhoods and lead to great discoveries, especially when I find what I'm always on the lookout for: farm fresh locally grown produce.
I've covered a lot of city ground while adding to my growing map of farmers at Paris markets and now, in order to continue my quest, I'm often brought to the outskirts of town and areas that very few people visit.
This was the case for this month's marché, which is located on the extremity of the 17th arrondissement. The trip to the market was lengthy, and included a lovely bike ride and a few less lovely wrong turns, but I finally made it before the market closed.
While this part of town is largely unfamiliar to me, I felt right at home when we got to the market and heard the ubiquitous shouts of market vendors and the customary crush of Parisian crowds.
Luckily I wasn't alone in weaving my way under the awnings of cramped market aisles packed with shopping caddies and two-way traffic. My gracious volunteer photographer and vegetable scout was the amazing human being and awesome musician Ben Nerot. I was in good company.
Wandering the market looking for inspiration for that night's dinner, we chatted with the many friendly vendors while looking at fresh fish, homemade breads, and a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Herbs overflow at Marché Berthier, where one vendor let me sniff and taste his assortment of fresh herbs including absinthe, dill, chives, basil, and a large selection of mint varieties.
Périgny-sur-Yerres based farmers Maison Lenoble have a stand at Marché Berthier (as well as Marché Point du Jour (75016) and Marché Convention (75015). Here you will find smiling faces and seasonal produce, with this time of year bringing the end of winter squash and a few spring surprises, such as cucumbers and young greens.
Marché Berthier also has an organic stand, where you will find mostly imported products- almonds from California, for example- and a knowledgeable vendor who will pick out the ripest avocados and offer you a deal on blueberries if he's feeling generous.
It's been awhile since I've discovered a new market, frequenting my neighborhood marchés such as Marché Ornano and Marché Bio des Batignolles rather than venturing far from home. Today proved that Paris markets are so much more than a source of food- they're a great excuse for a bike ride on a sunny day, they're a way to see the city in an unexpected way, and they're a reminder that all around the world we're pretty much the same- eager explorers who are wondering what's for dinner.
Boulevard de Reims, 75017 m°Pereire-Levallois (line 3)
Open: Wednesday and Saturday 7-14h30