Friday, December 19, 2014


Once again, the weather man was right on with his forecast of 90% chance of rain today.  But no problem, we were expecting rain on this trip and we came well prepared.  Good rain coats, waterproof shoes and umbrellas!

Our plan for the day was to visit some of Paris' wonderful indoor food markets.  We needed a few groceries anyway, and it's always fun to look at all the wonderful cheese, sausage and produce.  Our first stop was Marche de Aligre.  There is a big street market on certain days of the week as well as a large enclosed food market that's open every day.  Did I mention there's also a flea market on the days that the street market is operating? That just might have been an influencing factor for me….

We got on the Metro, made a few line changes and popped up in the 12th district of Paris.   We consulted the map I'd printed out, and headed off in the proper direction.  Eventually we found it, after a few twists and turns!

We by-passed the outdoor market--it was raining to hard!  We went right into the covered area, it was nicely decorated for Christmas:

We wandered up and down the aisles, enjoying the wonderful selection of food.  Sure wish we had markets like this in Spudville!  We stopped by a beer shop and bought a French IPA to try.  We bought some haricot verts (French green beans) and some garlic for dinner tonight.  We drooled at a few cheese shops, but didn't buy any.

When we were finished inside, we headed back out into the rain.  The "flea market/antique"  vendors were packing up, so I just browsed at a couple of tables--didn't see much of interest.

We decided to wait it out in a nice little restaurant across the street.  We each ordered a cafe au lait, and relaxed for a few minutes.  We used their "facilities", and I was surprised to find that it was uni-sex.  While I was washing my hands, there was a gentleman using the urinal about 2 feet from me!  It's a little shocking for us Americans--we tend to be much more uptight about such things.

Our next stop was the Marche des Enfants Rouges--market of the red children.   Many, many years ago there was an orphanage in this area, and all the children wore red jackets--so the name!

It's in the 3rd district of Paris, very near the center.  As we popped up from the Metro, we saw this beautiful statue in the middle of the intersection:

This market is a very small one, so it didn't take us long to do a look around.  There are some really good ethnic food booths, and as it was lunch time we gave them all a good look, and decided to share a Moroccan lamb and vegetable tagine.  It was delicious!  A beer for David and a nice glass of wine for me rounded out our quick lunch.  I forgot to take a picture…...

Back out into the rain---yup, still raining!  We hustled ourselves to the Metro, and rode to our next stop.

Before leaving home I'd read about a gourmet food market taking place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The article included a free pass for two--so I printed it out, of course.  Bargain--as admission was 10E each!

We easily found the market--it was being held in a beautiful old building, the Palais Brongniart, built in the 1800 by order of Napolean.

I couldn't take a picture of the outside--it was raining too hard to get out the camera. 

At the entrance, we gave our free entry coupons to the nice lady, paid for two wine tasting glasses (3E for 2) and I checked my coat and scarf.

We were in for a treat--The Salon Noel Gourmand de Paris was amazing!  There were vendors from all over the region, selling and sampling there wares.  There were wine producers, cheese makers, escargot, foie gras, caviar, champagne, chocolate, baked goods, sausages and other meat stuff--OH MY!  

 It was very crowded, and some of the tables had long lines for samples.  There was also a fair amount of "elbowing and gentle pushing"--almost reminded me of our visit to The Forbidden City in Beijing!  The little old ladies with their shopping trolleys were the worst! 

Here's a view I took from along the windows looking outside--it's in a beautiful neighborhood:

Cheese!  We sampled several kinds, and bought one to bring home:

More cheese!

Still more cheese!  This was an interesting booth.  They weren't offering samples--or I surely would have tried some.  There were many.many different shapes and design--all quite small.  They were covered in various "stuff"--ash, leaves, ferns, and some look like they'd been buried in dirt!  Several looked VERY moldy.  They were also expen$ive!

They didn't look too appetizing, but you never know--it might be the best cheese ever!

We sampled some very good wine, the best one was 42E a bottle--we passed on that.  We did buy a nice bottle of vin rouge--for a measly 15E.  It's very good, though.  We enjoyed talking to one young lady--her English was very good, and she really took time to explain the differences in the various regions, soils, grapes etc.  I wished my brother Doug could have been there--he's our family wine expert, and would have really enjoyed it.

We also sampled some very good sausage, and bought a nice smokey one to have on hand for our light dinners.  We stopped by a couple of chocolate vendors, and tried some pretty amazing chocolate.  We bought a ridiculously expensive small jar of chocolate/hazelnut spread--it was so delicious we couldn't resist!  David asked me what we were going to eat it on, and I said we're going to eat it with a spoon--one spoonful a day!

After a couple of hours of drooling, oogling and sampling our way through all that deliciousness, we decided it was time to head for home.

We made our way to the exit, retrieved my coat from the coat check, and walked out side. AAAAHHHH!!  It was absolutely pouring--and blowing sideways.  We stood under the portico for a while--then just decided to make a run for the Metro.  We were a little soggy when we got there!

We found our line, headed down the stairs and trudged through about a mile of passageways to our platform.  There was a car waiting, so we hopped on and actually got two seats!  The car sat for quite awhile, and slowly filled up.  Evidently, there was a car stalled on the track, so we had to wait for it to be pushed out of the way.  (Not that we could understand the announcement in French!) 

Finally we made it home, changed out of our soggy clothes and relaxed with a glass of our new wine.  Our dinner tonight was leftover cassoulet from last night, and fresh green beans--yummy.

We decided to just hunker down tonight--we are NOT going back out in the rain!

Fortunately, the forecast for the next week looks much better.

Tomorrow in Paris:  We are going the a big street flea market at Vanves, which is held every Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine.  Let's hope for no rain!

Goodnight from soggy (but still beautiful and wonderful!) Paris.

1 comment:

  1. Cheese, cheese and more cheese, plus chocolate? Be still my heart! How could you resist all that yummy food? I think I would have moved into that building - set up permanent residence.... LOL I now have a wonderful latte machine - a Christmas present from a friend. So I am sitting here with a latte visualizing all that chocolate. I look forward to making you and Dave lattes when you get home, a little French reminder..... Have fun.