Charles de Gaulle once stated "How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty six different kinds of cheese". Maybe when he said that in 1953 he was correct, but today, France has well over five hundred different kinds of cheese, and I think I saw them all today at Sunday's Marché Richard Lenoir food market.
This place is a foodie’s delight! Whether you are renting an apartment in Paris and need to stock the fridge, or simply want to spend a colourful and fun Sunday morning enjoying a very typical French way of life, this market has got it all! Stretching about a kilometre from the monument at Bastille down Boulevard Richard Lenoir there are three alleyways of deliciousness of French gourmet products to delight your taste buds and cause havoc to your waistline! And I can promise you we did well on the waistline!
A fabulous busker who sang and danced with small children while balancing a goldfish bowl filled with fish on his head entertained us while we ate the most delicious crepes expertly made to order by a stall holder who had clearly done it many times before. Breakfast doesn’t get much better than this – calories galore (my crepe was goats cheese, smoked salmon grated cheese and an egg), colourful entertainment, and a taste of true French life – all free of charge in a Paris winter that is pretending to be spring!
We bought an awesome Roquefort cheese that smells like a gym junkie’s dirty socks, endive that was picked directly from the beds in which it was still growing (I have never seen this before and food doesn’t get much fresher!) and small green beans that were so expertly stacked they looked regimental and severe but were so crisp & young that we ate them raw. For a late lunch we bought San Jacques - the largest scallops I have seen and in our apartment we simply steamed them with lemon. The texture was meaty, the taste delicate and at 12.50Euro a kilo we thought they were a bargain.
I LOVE a food market like this – to me it is shopping in its most perfect form, exciting the senses in all formats. This makes me want to move to Paris!!!