The minute I set foot in the 15th I'm overcome with an immediate craving for croissants. I think this is due to the fact that this particular part of Paris seems to be so quintessentially French that, even after 8 years living in the city, I feel transformed into a tourist upon arriving in this arrondissement. I quickly find myself scouting the city streets for a spot to treat myself to iconic French pleasures, such as a café crème, a croissant and a view of the Eiffel Tower.
While rue Convention has managed to escape the observant gaze of le tour eiffel, this boutique lined street is packed with fromageries, butchers, and bakers with windows stocked with creamy cheeses, golden baked goods and impossibly perfect creations such as tourte à la viande, feuilleté, and baby quiches. It all seems so old-fashioned and charming, so linked to an artisanal French heyday that I almost expected Julia Child herself to burst out of the doors of one of these boutiques, her shopping basket overflowing and her face lit up with a smile.
While the brick and mortar installations on rue Convention seem in keeping with traditional French culinary tradition, its market seems to have unfortunately kept up with modern times. The aisles that make up Marché Convention are largely comprised of stands selling industrial foods and polyester blend clothing. This is a sad, yet familiar sight for the committed market goer in Paris, but I always feel the same level of disappointment every time I realize how few and far between farmers really are at Paris markets.
Therefore it came as a great relief and surprise that upon reaching the eastern end of the market, settled on place Charles Vallin, I saw Marché Convention's only independent producer, Masion Lenoble. Even more exciting, these market gardeners are from Ile-de-France- located in the Val-de-Marne, less than an hour southeast of Paris.
The farm's mid-October harvest brought together a selection of tomatoes, both in bright reds and greens, cabbage, lettuce, leeks and potatoes as well as watermelon radishes, the first I had ever seen of this variety in Paris.
In addition to their stand in the 15th, Maison Lenoble also sells their locally grown produce at Marché Berthier (75017) and Marché Point du Jour (75016).
While it's hard to beat a café and croissant, I think there are few things more gratifying and fantastically French than a basket full of locally grown, fresh vegetables chosen with care at your local market- and Maison Lenoble is one of the few places you can still enjoy this pastime in Paris markets.
rue Convention 75015
M°Convention (line 12)
Open Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday 7h-14h30