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Paris Markets

Marche Saxe Breteuil

I love Paris. I also love food, food markets, indoor and outdoor markets of all kinds. In my younger days, one of my favorite shopping experiences was going to the Englishtown Auction in New Jersey in the early hours of a Saturday morning and wandering. There were rows and rows of outdoor tables to see first, then it was on to the indoor buildings to warm up and find coffee. Outdoors, the best stands and finds were the independents. You literally never knew what you would find. I once found a copper sculpture of a Paris cafe for $3 which I still own. I refined my haggling skills here. Indoors, the Amish had a booth every week where you could buy fresh and amazing cheeses. As the years went by, Englishtown became more of an indoor mall with no true bargains and the outdoor tables were more commercialized with vendors who sold socks, jeans, and other outlet-type goods.

After the old Englishtown Auction, my all-time favorite market is La Boqueria in Barcelona. That is in a class by itself and sets the bar for all markets everywhere.

Since this is my second long stay in Paris, I have decided to visit as many markets as I can in no particular order. On a Spring trip to Provence a few years ago, I went to as many of the Provencial markets as I could. I loved them all. There were flower markets, flea markets, and food markets galore. Many of my favorites were in Aix-en-Provence. So Paris markets are going to have to be something special to meet my standards.

My first Paris market trip was to the Marche Saxe Breteuil which is open on Thursdays and Saturdays. I had read that it was part food, part flea market and is known in particular for kitchenware and linens. Although I found pots and pans and a variety of clothes, the ubiquitous scarves, and an abundance of fruits and vegies there were only a handful of other food vendors and no linens at all. There were a couple of poultry vendors and I opted for a cooked, rotisserie chicken. I also bought cheeses, olives, and my mandatory baguette. All in all, the produce was the highlight of this medium-size market. I discovered an heirloom tomato called coeur de boeuf . The tomatoes and the olives were the best products here. The French pumpkins were pretty and shaped differently than those I am used to.

Posted by teethetrav 01:29 Archived in France Tagged provence la_boqueria marche_saxe_breteuil englishtown_auction_nj aix_en_provence french_markets Comments (0)

Return to Barcelona

First Stop: La Boqueria

Returning to Barcelona means a return to La Boqueria right in the middle of La Rambla, the most famous boulevard in the city. 326.jpg My favorite market in Europe, La Boqueria is the perfect first stop in Barcelona to have a snack of tapas DSC02900.jpg and shop for a picnic. Before I leave I’ll load up on goodies to bring home. But as soon as I arrive, I need to have tapas. DSC02899.jpg The classic tapas place is Bar Pinotxo, run by Juan and his family since forever. Belly up to the bar and grab a stool if you can find one. If not, wait because it is so worth it. Try anything. It’s all good. If it’s early in the day, try an empanda or an ensaimada with a cup of coffee. Or, try a bowl of Juan’s indescribable chickpeas. Hearty and full of flavor, this dish alone makes me come back to Barcelona.
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Now that you have a full belly, wander the aisles and you’ll find fresh produce, fish, spices, and an overwhelming array of cheese and meat counters. This is a great place to buy fixings to take with you when you go sightseeing. We bought bread, jamon, and machego cheese at Aroma Iberic and we were set for the day as we went in search of all things Gaudi. We nibbled as we went. NOTHING in this world is tastier than iberico jamon on a piece of fresh bread, topped with a slice of cheese. For dessert, load up on chocolate treats at Vidal Pons. I’m definitely going back. Soon.

Posted by teethetrav 15:47 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona travel spain jamon la_boqueria bar_pinotxo manchego_cheese Comments (0)

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