I'm ready to go to great lengths to find, and patronize, local farmers. However, it's always a gamble when you go to check out a new market because many of them have no local produce. It can be quite disappointing to arrive at a market see stands stocked exclusively with industrial and out-of-season fruits and vegetables.
I'll admit that it's hard to motivate and visit markets on the other side of the city, so I was glad when my friend Kristen asked me to meet her at Marché Daumesnil. The promise of a café and catch up session with Kristen was incentive to trek out to this market in the 12th arrondissement, which is on the opposite side of Paris from where I live.
Little did I know a pleasant surprise awaited at this market, which is a goldmine of local producers. Marché Daumesnil rivals some of my favorite markets like Marché Cours de Vincennes , Marché Bastille, and Marché Batignolles in the presence of local produce.
In fact, I think Daumesnil has the most independent producers I've ever seen in one market- I counted at least six independent producers at the market, most of which had farms located in the Ile-de-France region.
If you stick to the main stretch of this market (veer away from the textiles and offshoot vendors that tack up neighboring sidewalks) you will find a great selection of local, seasonal produce.
Les Vergers de la Terre Saine come from the Picardie region in France and bring their selection of apples, pears, and subsequent juices with them. They also have a selection of potatoes grown on their land and endives that they bring to market from neighboring farms.
Jean-Luc Dormoy, whose farm is located just 25 km from Paris, had a beautiful selection of Autumn squash and cabbage. Lovely lettuce and deep green spinach were also available.
A few stands farther was a producer from nearby Melun, who specializes in baby greens (mustard, roquette, etc.) and seasonal mushrooms. Elyane and Gerard Gobeut have a farm less than 60 km from Paris and sell an appealing variety of seasonal produce.
Organic stands are scattered about the market and you will also notice bakeries and other stands advertising their use of organic products.
For those of you living in the 12th arrondissement, consider yourself lucky to have the Marché Daumesnil in your backyard, and for those of you who are willing to make the trip to this part of town, you won't be disappointed.
Boulevard de Reuilly 75012
m° Daumesnil (line 6 and 8)
Open: Tuesday & Friday, 7h-14h30