This month's marché takes us a step or two outside of Paris to the neighboring town of Vincennes. This quiet suburb, which visitors might be drawn to for its wooded Bois de Vincennes or enchanting Parc Floral (which hosts an excellent jazz festival every summer), is easily arrived at using the Parisian metro or bus system, making it practically a part of the capitol.
Every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday morning in Vincennes the main drag of rue de Fontenay fills with market stalls that sprawl and flood its sidewalks and squares.
Marché Vincennes brings a wide variety of not only vegetables, meat, fish, and cheeses, but also specialty items including an Italian deli counter, cakes and other baked goods, and a selection of organic produce stands.
The city embraces "bio", or organic, products so much that it has even created its own label that organic producers proudly display at their market stands (the city also provides a list of organic vendors at the market that you can download here).
Be sure to visit the crowded stand that is Chez Sébastien, which is manned by one of the market's most vibrant vendors, Sébastian. The day of my visit, I was fortunate enough to stop by his stand accompanied by the charming Jessie Kanelos Weiner of thefrancofly.com fame.
Jessie happens to be one of Sébastien's favorites, so upon arrival we received the royal treatment- welcomed with gifts of horseradish root and cabbage and encouraged to take our time shopping.
As family farmer Sébastien chatted up the morning's line, joking and sharing the intimate details of his life, we browsed the fruits and veggies- all seasonal and absolutely beautiful.
Sébastien's farm is in the Mayenne region west of Paris, a corner of France that I know rather intimately, having spent 8 months there as an English assistant ten years ago. Knowing what I know about the taciturn nature of the inhabitants of this region, it is no surprise that Sébastien is eager to chat when he gets to Marché Vincennes. So stop by, say hi, and if you figure out what to do with a kilo of horseradish root, let me know!
rue de Fontenay, Vincennes
m° Bérault (line 1)
Open Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday 8h-13h