The city of Paris sponsors three all-organic markets; Marché bis des Batignolles, Marché Raspail, and Marché bio Brancusi. For such a large city and such a growing demand, there is a limited choice of markets offering exclusively organic, and mostly local, produce.
This blog is dedicated to scouting out the local farmers that can be found amongst the industrial produce and imported goods at the city's open-air markets. I delight in finding market stands that are operated by Ile-de-France farmers at neighborhood marchés such as Marché Ornano or Marché Cours de Vincennes, but it's also nice to visit a market where you know that all the products on sale come directly from the producer.
That's why I was eager to check out the Centquatre's weekly Marché Bio. Every Saturday, this community center welcomes farmers, cheese makers, and other artisans to set up shop at their immense space in the 19th arrondissement.
The Halle Aubervilliers, where the weekly market takes place, is welcoming and decked out with scattered chairs and seating options, a bookshelf-lined trailer loaded with a selection of books you can borrow or trade for, and a pizza truck complete with a wood burning stove.
The organic market animates the space even further, drawing crowds made up of couples, families and locals. When I visited in late August, I had the option of fresh fruits and vegetables from La Ferme de Marconville, artisanal cheese from the Fromagerie Jean-Marie Beaudoin, and charcuterie from La Ferme de Mesenguy.
All the products came from the Picardie region in France (a little over an hour North of Paris), which guaranteed their freshness and terroir.
When purchasing your farm-fresh fruit and veggies, you have the choice of selecting your products à la carte by opting for the vente au détail or you can pick up one of two sizes of paniers- a large for 16 euro or the smaller version for 8 euro.
On the day of my visit, a large panier was made up of 9 different veggies (including 1 eggplant, 2 cucumbers, 1 kilo zucchini and two heads of lettuce). The small panier, which I ended up taking home, had 500 grams of zucchini, 1 kilo tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 1 bell pepper, 1 head of lettuce, and 500 grams of potatoes. All in all a great starter kit for a farm to table ratatouille !
You can also add to your vegetable basket if you something catches your eye, which is what I did the minute I saw that lemon cucumbers were an option.
If you can't make it to the market on Saturday, you can visit L'épicerie du 104 which specializes in natural and organic products. The small store is open from Wednesday to Sunday, starting at noon.
Marché Bio du Centquatre
5 rue Curial, 75019
m° Riquet (line 7)
Open Saturday 11-14h