Feb 15

At the French Market

My French neighbor Evelyne (my “greeter” while I’m staying at Haven in Paris) knew I would be in this neighborhood for a while and offered to take me to the market to teach me how to shop. It seems a little silly that she would need to teach an adult how to grocery shop but its done so differently here. I gratefully accepted the offer. Evelyne has lived here for decades so she knows all the shop keepers and was the perfect guide. I went out the next day with Paul and gave him the same tour and he took a few photos.

Some of the highlights were:
-The spice store. I’ve never seen anything like it. The entire store was big baskets and vats of hundreds of different kinds of raw spices. Most I didn’t even recognize because I’ve only seen them crushed and packaged. I asked the shoplady if I could take photos and she said “yes but only one.” Unforunately I’m not sure this photo captured the essence of the place. Imagine all these spices times six, it really is incredible and makes me want to experiment with all of them.

-The Produce Market. The produce is really fantastic. We got the Sicilian oranges that are in season and so flavorful. I’ve never tasted anything so orange-y. Evelyne was clear to point out what was in season and turned her nose up at anything out of season. I love that.

-The Cheese Store. It is where you buy your cheese, eggs, and cream. Those bowls in the picture are different kinds of fresh creme and they fill up the container for you right there.

-The Butcher. I don’t have any pictures of the Butcher but they have every kind of meat you can imagine and its all beautifully laid out.

-The Flower Shop. There is a floral shop on every street. And they seem to be much cheaper than in the States. It’s so easy to have fresh flowers all the time because they are so accessible.


All of these places are within 2-3 blocks of each other. (And 2 blocks from our apartment.) People in France grocery shop every day. It is so easy I can see why. You just pop in, get your food and get out. We’ve been shopping like this the last week and sort of feel like we’ve discovered the secret to happiness. It is a luxury to have such fresh food every day. We eat a warm baguette every night with our dinner that we bought five minutes before. We are just cooking simple recipes but the ingredients are such good quality that every night feels like a special meal. The other thing is that our children are eating so much better here. Moses is usually my picky kid but he has been so into choosing the vegetables (since we go everyday) that he has been eating them in large amounts.

63 Comments

  • Kayleigh says:

    I. Want. Your. Life.

  • esther says:

    your photos are lovely. how fun to live in france!

  • kms says:

    i am SO, SO homesick for my Paris!!! Miss her so much!! xo.

  • Merci Paris says:

    We go to the market in Paris every Sunday as a family. It does help for picky eaters. My 4 year-old even eats oysters now! And it sure beats the prices at the supermarket. Love your posts. Where did you find that crêpe paper in Paris?

  • molly ruth says:

    i admire you so much for turning your dreams into reality!!

  • A. says:

    Like everyone else – this makes me want to cry – then move to Paris. I've read before that Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than a lot of (or maybe any) other developed countries – I'm curious as to how the cost of food in France stacks up with in the US?

  • Julia says:

    I am loving reading your blog (and Design Mom) about your time in France! I may have missed this– but how much French is everyone speaking? Are you fluent, near fluent? I have near-crippling Francophilia, but I can only really read French and I'd like to hear more about French attitudes towards people making an effort v. not making an effort to speak the language (you hear so many different things).

  • Barbie says:

    Oh my, I can see it's going to get harder and harder to follow your journey!! I just love this! I'm motivated to shop like the French do ;)

    I'm posting this on my blog today!

  • peonylovespink says:

    What a lovely way to shop! I can see shops there are very proud of what they offer and display. Totally beats the one stop shopping we have here!

  • Marissa says:

    I miss that about France so much! It is so different from what we do here. Your pictures are beautiful!

  • Clare says:

    Only recently started reading your blog and am thoroughly addicted to hearing about your Paris adventure!

    I'm from Australia and my husband and I are about to move to London for 2 years – am finding your story so inspiring.

  • […] I’ve already fallen in love. Let me show you my favorite places like: the Paris Flea Market, the fresh food markets, Laduree for some macarons, Adorable ribbon stores, and help me on my quest to find the best hot […]

  • […] I’ve already fallen in love. Let me show you my favorite places like: the Paris Flea Market, the fresh food markets, Laduree for some macarons, Adorable ribbon stores, and help me on my quest to find the best hot […]

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