A visit to Parisian markets will convince you that France’s reputation for world-class gastronomy is well deserved. While some purists will insist that the best produce is found outside of Paris, in the provinces, I say let’s not be too picky, you can find the most delicious food in the many indoor and outdoor markets found in every neighborhood. They are a feast for the eyes. You will see a broad selection of fresh seafood packed in ice, stands with various cuts of poultry, beef, veal and even horse (chevaline), others offering many of the over 300 cheeses that France is so famous for, in addition to specializing in varieties of mushrooms, salad greens and potatoes. Stands sell nuts, olives and dried fruit, showcasing Portuguese, North African and Asian specialties, and at last, all manner of fruits and vegetables and cold cuts (charcuterie), tartes, quiches, pates and other prepared food. But what I enjoy even more than the riot of color and the symphony of aromas is the repartee between the vendors and their customers. Even if you do not understand the words you will feel the warmth and humour (often enough) of the human interchange.
In addition to food products, most of the big markets have stands selling a variety of clothing -underwear, outerwear, dresses, shirts, footwear – home furnishings, pots and pans, home cleaning supplies, just about everything.