Posted by: Shannon | August 22, 2010

Paris Food Experiences

The food has been an interesting experience in Paris. Because we are in an apartment, we are generally eating breakfast and supper at our apartment and having a picnic lunch. I am stopping most days to pick up a few things from the local “marché” . These stores are not like our supermarkets as they are much smaller, but they do have most of the items we require…who needs all those choices anyways!!! The challenge is balancing what I buy from the store versus what I get from the local market. The market is only open on certain days and we have very limited room in our kitchen, so when I run out of the market goods I tend to pick up what we need from the store!  The market goods are definitely cheaper and it is so much more fun, so the more we get there, the better!!
I think the most surprising to me is the price of the cheese… I would estimate that it is about a quarter of what we pay in Canada.

The fromagerie at the Richard Lenoir Market on Sundays.

There is no such thing as cheddar around here but we are loving the Camembert and Comté (apparently France’s most popular cheese). Our lunches generally consist of finding a bench and devouring some fresh bread with cheese or humus or Nutella and some fruit and cookies.  Everyone seems quite content with this! (haven’t found any peanut butter yet, but we are definitely loving the Nutella!).   We have a Patisserie just down the street (I think everyone in Paris can say that!) so we often pick up some warm bread there on our way to the Métro in the morning.  We have also had a few “Pain au Chocolat” (croissant with chocolat bits inside) and “Escargot au chocolat” (croissant-type pastry rolled in the swirl shape of a snail…no actual escargot inside…only chocolate chips!).  We have also tried some crêpes from vendors along the way during our days. The favourite so far was the one evening meal we had in a café where the kids had “jambon et frommage” crêpes for the main course and Nutella crepes for dessert (I know…a bit of a theme with the Nutella!!).   The other snack food that we are really enjoying is the sorbet-type ice cream (called glaces here)…Owen’s favourite is Mangue, Anique’s is Citron Vert, Marco’s is Fruits de Passion, and mine is Framboise.  These ice creams are less icy than our sorbets and have very vivid flavours…delicious and refreshing at the same time!!

La patissière keeping people happy

The markets deserve their own description here for sure.  Marco and I have experienced markets in Korea where everything was for sale (including ALL parts of animals), but I did not expect the variety of foods here in the Paris open air markets.  It really is wonderful to walk around and be able to buy all your veggies, fruit, bread, cheese, meat and wine in the same spot. The limiting factors are how much you can carry and how much cash you have in your pocket!!. We have a Tuesday, Friday and Sunday market on the street just at the end of our road so we are able to get whatever we want from there. Some of the interesting things we have seen at the meat sellers are: Pigeon, Quail, Rooster with head and feet,Tongue, Blood sausage, Pig’s Feet, Frog Legs, Squid, Live Lobster, Oysters, Shrimp.  The only meat we have been brave enough to buy so far is chicken…most of our suppers have been tuna or vegetarian!  Maybe in a few months we will try some of the others!  The veggie and fruit vendors are often Middle Eastern and many of them will loudly “sing” when the market is busy in an attempt to attract customers to their stand.  So far we have not been able to figure out what exactly they are saying…even Marco can’t so we are not even sure what language it is in!!! With all the restrictive laws in Canada, there is no way this type of market would be allowed, but I really believe that we are missing out. I suspect that most of the veggie and fruit vendors are middle men, but the meat, cheese and bread stands are run by the actual “farmers” …it is always nice to deal directly with them!

I am sure that I will have more to add to the “Food Blog” as we travel around more. Tomorrow we depart Paris to explore Reims (Champagne capital) and then up into northern France where I have read that there are some very interesting culinary delights (like “andouillette”… I’ll let you look it up 🙂
Bon appétit,

A $2.50 café the size of an egg cup!


  1. Hi guys. Finally, I am at work and have some time to say hello. I have been reading your blogs and looking at the pictures. It has been great. Never any doubt that you would have a great time. I love the little surprises–like the BMX park in Paris.

    Everything is good here. In case you heard, some Mazda 5’s are being recalled for power steering problems. Nothing to worry about safety-wise, but we’ll keep an eye on it and get it in to be fixed if necessary.

    Oh, and regarding this, Shawn says “Thanks for sticking us with a death trap!” Nothing changes around here. Shawn is still Shawn.

    Have fun.

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