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Exploring the Back Roads of Paris and a French Market - Marché Pyrenees

Updated on November 09, 2015

Thirty Stallholders

At this Market you will find around thirty stalls selling a huge variety of fruit, vegetables. There is a butcher, several fishmongers, roasters and sellers of local products, also a bakery, a rotisserie, a cheese seller, a potato seller, a florist and a chocolate seller.

A Riot of Color

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Mixed VegetablesRadishesTiny Tomatoes on the VineFigs & TangerineAubergine and Mixed PeppersFennel & Red PeppersOnionsGreen Chilli
Mixed Vegetables
Mixed Vegetables | Source
Radishes
Radishes | Source
Tiny Tomatoes on the Vine
Tiny Tomatoes on the Vine | Source
Figs & Tangerine
Figs & Tangerine | Source
Aubergine and Mixed Peppers
Aubergine and Mixed Peppers | Source
Fennel & Red Peppers
Fennel & Red Peppers | Source
Onions
Onions | Source
Green Chilli
Green Chilli

An Assault on the Senses

Visiting a French market can seem very much like an assault on all the senses. The market is a riot of color with wonderful displays of fruit, flowers, vegetables, cheese, meat and fish. One can hear the sounds of market traders as they call out to one another. Cheeks are proffered for kisses when shoppers run into friends and family - while fruit and cheese are offered up for tasting. Live birds chatter unhappily in cages.

Live Crab

Live Crab
Live Crab | Source

Local Produce

Much of the produce is grown locally. The bulk of which is fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat and fish. Much of the fish will have been sourced from local coastal areas, shellfish, sometimes so fresh that you might even find yourself looking eye-ball to eye-ball with a live crab. You will most certainly find bread, tarts, pasta, hand-made chocolates and even large dishes of paella being sold.

Locally sourced Fish

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A Stallholder selling her produceShelllfishPrawnsPrawnsFish PiecesMixed Whole Fish
A Stallholder selling her produce
A Stallholder selling her produce | Source
Shelllfish
Shelllfish | Source
Prawns
Prawns | Source
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Prawns | Source
Fish Pieces
Fish Pieces | Source
Mixed Whole Fish
Mixed Whole Fish | Source

Funky Shopping Trolley's

Funky Shopping Trolley
Funky Shopping Trolley | Source

A Visit to a Paris Market

Specialist Markets

Shopping at the market is a way of life for the French. You will find specialist markets which may sell only one type of product at a time. It could be mushrooms, truffles or honey.

Never on a Monday!

The best time to get there is always early but never on a Monday. They are rarely open on Mondays. The stalls are quite often disbanded by midday. The popular produce can sell out very quickly. Getting there early allows you to view the items in a much more leisurely way. Leave it until much later and you could find the market is brimming with tourists.

Grabbing a Bargain

Like the car boot or English Market, there can be advantages to arriving late – just when everyone is thinking about of packing up, the stallholders will sell off their produce at reduced prices. This is the time to grab a bargain.

Bring your own Bags

It is always an idea to bring your own bags. Often you may be provided with flimsy plastic or paper bags. These are not always suitable for carrying heavy or delicate items. Bring a strong shoulder bag – so much easier to carry or better still, bring along one of those granny shopping bags on wheels which surprisingly have lost their granny image and are fast becoming a fashion statement in Paris. Parisian’s of all ages use them – even young ladies wearing high heels and tights can be seen pulling a trolley behind them.

Folding Shopping Cart - Versacart Utility Cart - Transport Up to 120 Pounds (Water-Resistant Heavy Duty Canvas)

Trendy Shopping Trolleys

Several UK stores are now importing trendy shopping trolleys from France. They come in a wide range of colors and are used by housewives, pensioners, city professionals and don’t laugh, even men. They are very light to pull behind one. Why not do your thing for the environment and helping reduce both waste and your carbon footprint at the same time. Believe it or not, British shops hand out over thirteen billion plastic carrier bags every year.

Funky Trolleys can be purchased online from:-

http://funky-shopping-trolleys.co.uk/

They carry a wide range of beautiful shopping trolleys at very reasonable prices.



A visit to a Paris Market

Try before you Buy

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Sample the Goods First!

Don’t be afraid to ask to taste the produce before you buy. The French accept this as the norm. Stallholders will frequently hand out samples of their produce for you to taste. Most time you won’t even have to ask. This reverse psychology seems to work very well, for it is so much harder to decline a product once you have tasted it! Treat this as an opportunity to learn as much as you can about regional food. You will be expanding your own palate at the same time.

Don't Forget!

Handy Tips

  • Don’t forget to go armed with plenty of euro coins. Don’t take the risk of getting there early and risk having to pay a market trader with a note which he may find difficult to change.
  • Don’t let your lack of French vocabulary put you off going to the market. If your French is limited, point out the items which you would like to buy from the stallholders. You will soon find that a few simple gestures work very well. Don't forget to to observe the basic courtesies - such as Bonjour, Madam or Bonjour, Monsieur. Once you have completed the transaction, remember to add a Merci and an au revoir before you go on your way.
  • Parisians regard grocery shopping as being a most pleasurable occupation and it is not difficult to see why when faced with the wonderful array of produce. You will want to forget buying that un-ripened fruit or vegetable from local supermarkets. The Parisian’s may use them as a convenience during the weekdays, but the markets are regarded as being the place to shop or to be seen during the weekend. Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for strolling around the market. Your shopping trip will of course, have to be followed up by the obligatory drink in a local café or bar.
  • Popping off to Paris for the weekend for a trip to a market has become reality. If you live in the UK. It will take only a mere two-and-a-quarter hours on the http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-information/connections-information/travelling-uk#.UnkBo_l3a0g from St Pancras London to arrive at Gare du Nord in Paris. You may not want to do it every weekend but one can see how easy it would be to turn an ordinary weekend into a really special one. You could even arrive in Paris, just in time for breakfast and then go on to shop at the market later.
  • Another option might be to consider catching a coach from Victoria Station in London to Paris You could spend a weekend there! Try booking an apartment online with http://www.wimdu.co.uk/ as we did. You could have a short break in a home from home where you can take your produce back to your own apartment and cook up a feast fit for a king.
  • If you want to get your food back home in good condition, you should seriously think about taking a few boxes with you when you go shopping. They are so much easier to pack your produce into and the produce will definitely arrive home in a much better condition. After all, who wants to arrive home with the taut Pomme flavored with goat’s cheese!
  • Paris has around 80 markets, so there will be no shortage of choice once you get there. Do your homework first and decide which markets you want to attend, before setting out. They are usually in full swing by 8.30 am.

Fromage

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Some of the things you are likely to find at this market:-

Fromage – cheese – there are hundreds of varieties.

Fruit and vegetables – the most amazing range, some of which you may never have seen or tasted before. I saw artichokes as large as melons.

Chocolate – hand-made – some of which are flavored with chili.

Patisserie – pains au chocolat and tarte aux pommes and delicious crusty bread and rolls, also pastries, pasta and baguettes.

Duck Confit – Don’t forget to bring back a few tins to the UK with you. Roast the duck legs in hot fat for around twenty minutes. They make the perfect quick meal.

Honey – There are so many types. The taste is usually reflected by the flowers on which the bees gather pollen.

Wild mushrooms - all at astonishingly good prices. These are especially good – ask for advice on how best to cook them.

Fish, frogs legs, crabs, mussels, rabbit, veal, chicken, mussels, snails, oysters, pig, Pate and much more.

Pigs Heads, Frogs Legs & Chickens with Heads

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Heads. Feet and AllA pig with a label sticking through his eye.Garlic Snails
Heads. Feet and All
Heads. Feet and All | Source
A pig with a label sticking through his eye.
A pig with a label sticking through his eye. | Source
Garlic Snails
Garlic Snails | Source

Mushrooms

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MushroomsMushrooms
Mushrooms
Mushrooms | Source
Mushrooms
Mushrooms | Source

A lasting Memory

The memory of a French market is such a memorable one. It is likely to linger long after you have returned home. It deserves to be savored and enjoyed, just like a good wine. I do hope you enjoy your visit to Marché Pyrenees

Where is Marché Pyrenees Situated?

Marché Pyrenees Rue des Pyrénées, between Rue de l’ Ermitage and Rue de Ménilmontant. Open Thursday from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm and Sunday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm

Travel:-

Metro: Pyrénées

Metro travel is an interesting experience on its own. The trains are incredibly efficient and always on time.

Map View

A markerRue de l’ Ermitage and Rue de Ménilmontant -
Rue de l'Ermitage, 75020 Paris, France
get directions

A visit to Marché Pyrenees

Are you likely to visit Marché Pyrenees

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Exploring the Back Roads

Authors Note

“Exploring the Back Roads.” is part of a series of travel Hubs which were started by 2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Exploring-The-Back-Roads-of-Washington-State-A-Visit-To-Pe-Ell-Is-A-Visit-To-Our-Past

Other writers are encouraged to link their own articles to the Back Road Series using the same four words, Exploring the Back Roads, in the title and change it to the name of their own state or country. I chose Paris - France for this Hub.

This is my first contribution to the series.

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    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 23 months ago from Norfolk

      aesta1

      Definitely worth a visit. I have not visited the one in Annecy but will check it out. I love Paris. I think it is one of the most feminine and beautiful cities in the world. I love the markets and the wonderful cultural mix of people you find in them.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have to remember this the next time we're in Paris. We have done this is other cities in France. Love the one in Annecy.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      RTalloni

      You are very welcome and I am glad I was able to make you feel from my images that I was able to take you to Marché Pyrenees.

      Best wishes

      Sally

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for sharing this info and tips for visiting Marché Pyrenees and the back roads of Paris. Your photos take us there!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      old albion

      So glad you enjoyed your visit to the back streets of Paris and a French Market - Marché Pyrenees. I very much appreciate your very kind comments and the vote up Thank you.

      Have a wonderful day.

      Sally

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Sally. Wonderful, I was there with you. Your text and photos /video were excellent. Nothing more to say.

      Voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      jgwhite66

      I always think of Paris as being one of the most feminine cities I know. It really does have a lot of charm - that is apart from the dog poop which is too frequently present on the pavements. I loved riding on the Metro - it really makes one feel a lot more local and connected to the city and the people.

      I am glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you very much for your comment.

      Sally

    • jgwhite66 profile image

      John Goodwin White 3 years ago from Scotland

      The first time I visited Paris we stayed at La Villette which by the looks of things is not too far from Marché Pyrenees. Paris is a wonderful city to visit and so easy to get around thanks to the Metro. Thank you for a very interesting article Sally.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi susi10

      Nice to hear from you. I love Paris, such a beautiful feminine City, filled with so many interesting things to do, including this market and also some very large Antique Markets. I like to do things that the locals like to do, not necessarily the tourist spots. I can thoroughly recommend a visit to March Pyrenees, definitely a feast for the eyes. The marketeers were also very friendly. Thanks for your visit and your comments Suzi.

    • susi10 profile image

      Susan W 3 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Nice hub Sally! The markets of Paris have a unique air to them and your hub captured that wonderful atmosphere. I loved the pictures! I have been to Paris before but have never visited Marche Pyrenees. Next time I go to Paris again, I will visit there, it seems like a beautiful place. Very informative hub, well done. Thanks for sharing this Sally.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      cmoneyspinner1tf - thank you so much! I appreciate your comments and visit and comments.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      This HUB is fabulous! Voted Up! Found via the Google+ Hubpages community. FYI.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      btrbell, you are so very welcome. I very much appreciate the follow and the link. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to the Back Roads of Paris and a French Market - Marché Pyrenees.

      Thank you

      Sally

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      tillsontitan - not only the head but claws and all - it really does take one down to basics - perhaps it is intended to teach us to respect the animals that we eat and to give thanks to them for giving up their lives so that we can eat meat. Packages of meat in a supermarket are so far removed from the reality.

      I appreciate the link, the vote up, useful, awesome and interesting comments and I am always so pleased to receive feedback on my images,

      Thank you.

      Sally

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Oh Sally what beautifully colorful pictures. You certainly did the market more than justice. It was fun to read this hub and learn more about your market.

      I must admit I've never seen a chicken sold with its head! I have to go add a link to my hub so everyone can read about the French Market.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Wow, Sally! This was great, interesting, beautiful, a true "assault" on the senses! Thank you so much for finding me and linking this! I will do the same!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you. You too!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      annart - So glad lad you enjoy French Markets as much I do.

      Thanks you for linking to this Hub - I will check out your own in the series and to do the same - Have a great evening.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Those initial vegetable & fruit photos made me feel really hungry; I could almost smell them! I love French markets and we go often.

      Great contribution to the Exploring the Back Roads series; I've linked this to mine. Up, useful and interesting.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Disney Robb - welcome to a French Market and also to one of my pages. A French market is such a visual experience, something which can in one's mind can be savored and enjoyed for a long while afterwards.

      How lucky I am, for I still see it clearly in my mind. I can still hear the voices of the market traders and I can see their smiles. The quantity and the quality of their produce is something you never forget.

      Thank you for the compliment re- my photography. It is something I love to do. I appreciate your visit and I do hope you have a lovely day.

    • Disney Robb profile image

      Rob Hower 3 years ago from Lebanon, PA

      Outstanding hub ... loved learning about a French market experience and it made me pine for fresh produce (amazing pictures). Love the phrase "riot of color" ... brilliant!!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      jhamann - Oh I do hope so Jamie. I have been to France many times, but this was the first time in Paris that I truly felt at home. I do think it was because we stayed in an apartment where locals reside. Don't forget to do some of the things which regular French people do. Visiting Paris is not just about seeing the more popular sights. Sit alongside a canal with a picnic supper and a bottle of wine - visit a market too. Blend with the locals. It is just so much fun! When you find yourself sitting alongside the canal, please raise a glass to me!

      Sally

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      One day I will be able to bring my family to see the wonder that you describe so well in your hub. jamie

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      In view of what I know now, I would not take a car next time. Think I would use the buses and Metro which we really good. I very much enjoy the way it puts you with the locals - which is what we like very much. Can't imagine doing it without my trusty Tom Tom though. Thanks for your comment electronician.

    • electronician profile image

      Dean Walsh 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      You did the right thing. Last time I was in France I was driving, and it was a nightmare in Paris. This was in the days before GPS as well...

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Glad you enjoyed the picture of the cheese. I love cheese but I have to confess I don't think anyone makes a better strong Cheddar than the English, but then I may be biased! I definitely think a visit to France is well worth it - so easy to get there and it can really be done on a budget. Check out my links. We used Wimdu to find our lovely but reasonably price apartment to stay in. Four people for less than £100. We traveled on the Metro when we were in Paris. We did see things on the Metro which are a story in themselves. We did have a car which we left in a very cheap parking garage nearby. It gave us plenty of freedom without having to worry about driving too much in Paris. Can definitely recommend another visit. Thanks for stopping by.

    • electronician profile image

      Dean Walsh 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      That cheese picture really made me salivate. I haven't been to France for years, but I loved it when I was there. I'm very jealous.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Pamela99 - and I would recommend that you do exactly that. It is a visual scene you never forget. I hope you visit Paris soon.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

      Shopping at that market in Paris sounds delightful. I would love to visit France and do just that. Very interesting hub.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      rebeccamealey - it really is - definitely high on my list of things to do whilst in Paris or anywhere in France. It is not something to be missed. Thank you so much for you visit and comment.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Shopping in a Paris market must be a fantastic experience. Thanks for an up close look!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Rose West. Thank you very much. Definitely a good idea to support local farmers everywhere in the world. The market is lovely and so nice and user friendly. The folk there were so nice.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Eiddwen, so nice of you to stop by. Thanks so much for the vote and share too. You have a lovely evening.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      DDE - that was a fabulous movie - with Meryl Streep - we watched that twice. If you ever get a chance please watch Babette's feast - a real classic, I am sure you will love it. Thanks so much for your lovely comments - vote up etc., - am always delighted to have you come and visit my Hubs. Have a lovely evening.

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 3 years ago from Michigan

      Loved this hub! Such great pictures! I love local markets for the fresh produce and support of local farmers. This one sounds wonderful!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      I thoroughly enjoyed this great hub sally bea and voted up plus shared for sure.

      Eddy.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Exploring the Back Roads of Paris and a French Market - Marché Pyrenees how interesting! Did you watch the movie called julie&julia about two women living the similar lives and they love french food this hub made me think about that movie. French food and markets are divine. Great hub. Voted up useful, interesting and beautiful

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      AliciaC - I am so glad you enjoyed coming along the back roads of Paris to Marché Pyrenees with me. It sure is an amazing place. Thank you for your visit and lovely comments.

      Sally

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Faith Reaper, you are most welcome and thank you for your visit, comments and share. I appreciate them very much. Hope you have a lovely day

      Sally

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The photos of the fruits and vegetables are so bright, colorful and inviting! This is an excellent look at the market, Sally.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, sally, thank you for taking us along the back roads of Paris to the French market! Your photos are so alive with color and the food looks delicious and amazing. I wish I could be right there with you!

      Up and more and sharing

      Excellent write!

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      You are a treasure - thank you so much FlourishAnyway. Thanks for your lovely comments, share and pins - I appreciate them as always.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This could not be any better. It is such a vibrant, visually spectacular hub with great writing as usual. The tips should prove very helpful. Voted way up +++, sharing, and pinning.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You sent an email??? Shoot, I didn't see one...now I better go check my spam folder and see what happened to it. :) I hate technology. LOL

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy, No, not losing your mind. It is almost the same one - I was forced to delete it and re-do it because of a problem with I had with an incorrect url. I sent you an e-mail to explain.

      Thanks for your comments and here's hoping the series goes well.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Strange that this popped up again; I thought I commented on this yesterday....it's the same pictures. Am I losing my mind or is this a different article? How very strange. Well, like I said yesterday, this is a wonderful addition to the Exploring series, Sally, and thank you for doing this. Well done!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      purlagony, so glad you enjoyed the trip to Marché Pyrenees. You are so right, one could spend days there. It is such an exciting environment to spend time in. I just love it and I do hope you will get an opportunity to spend days there too. Thanks for the vote up.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 3 years ago from USA

      Great hub and your photos really bring it to life! I've always wanted to visit the French markets. I think I could spend days there :) Thanks for sharing your trip. Voted up!!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Suzanne Day - Chilli Chocolate definitely is worth tracking down. The maker of this chocolate was a lady who owned a little shop in the village nearby which she insisted we go and visit. It was very cute. She proudly told us that she had also had a small piece in the New York Times. The lives of others! I appreciate your visit, thank you.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      A very interesting read. I've read a lot about shopping at French markets and about the wonderfully fresh produce available - of course reading "A Year In Province" made me salivate over all the things you cannot buy here! I will have to track down some chilli chocolate though and give it a try.

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