I did not even know that sort of thing existed… let alone in a farmers market. I found it amusing. It’s about 15 seconds into the slideshow.
I did not get a good overall picture of the market. This particular market (Marché de Barbes) is extremely crowded and notorious for its numerous pickpockets. My priority was to hang on to my tiny camera and discretely snap pictures without attracting attention. I do not recommend visiting this particular market unless you are looking for a very intense and potentially disconcerting North African experience in Paris. I purposely hired a guide to take me there. Knowing what to expect allowed me to enjoy this adventure.
Farmers markets in France are a feast for the eyes, the tastebuds and the imagination. I went to one of Paris’ many markets this morning. Here are a few vegetable pictures for your viewing pleasure. I also have seafood photos and a picture of an object I would never have expected to find at a farmers market to share with you but have to run now. Check back in a few hours…
Last night, I had dinner at Café de l’Esplanade, located across from L’Hôtel National des Invalides, where Napoleon may or may not be buried. Historical controversy being beyond the scope of this blog, let’s move right along to the supremely important subject of dinner. The setting of the Café de l’Esplanade is very plush and stimulating to the senses. Intimate clusters of candlelit tables with red velour seats harmoniously fill a satisfying symmetrical perspective. Look at the picture and you will see what I mean.
This perspective is framed on either side with columns made from historical looking pipes and a well-executed succession of arches in the ceiling. The combination of mirrors, rich fabrics, dimmed lights and soft music certainly primed my imagination. Story ideas flooded in. I’ve noted them for future reference. Among my dinner companions were two Paris celebrities. Naturally, I won’t divulge their names as I feel celebrities deserve greater privacy. They should be able to enjoy an evening on the town, incognito, like the rest of us. I will say that they were both delightful guests. Dinner was an ebullient exchange of ideas, observations and postulates about human nature, medicine and history. Celebrity Guest #1 and I were very amused when Celebrity Guest #2 explained certain persons’ surprisingly poor pragmatism and/or understanding of the crucial elements required for human procreation.
Oh, yes, the food. It was succulent. Luminosity was unfortunately insufficient for photographs, which is a shame because the presentation was lovely. My first course, “entrée” in French, was Artichaud poivrade frais avec pointes d’asperges et parmigiano reggiano: baby artichoke hearts, on a bed of tender green leaves, with asparagus tips, vinaigrette and parmesan shavings. For the main course, I had Cabillaud simplement rôti et condiment, a melt-in-your-mouth, flaky, moist, luscious cod with a hint of fire grilling marks on top, served with a creamy spicy sauce. Beyond delicious. Dessert was a fresh strawberry sorbet. As Shwartzie would say, I’ll be back.
Café de L’Esplanade, 52 rue Fabert, 75007, Paris.
Despite my announced obsession with French foods and architecture, the real reason I am in Paris is business. Not a bad thing when you consider the scenery we stumble upon on the way to business meetings! The Eiffel Tower always makes me gawk, even though I come to Paris often. I’ve thus often walked into a pole or nearly knocked over a little lady because I was admiring the Tour Eiffel rather than watching my way. Anyways, my business partners are two French scientists. I found out yesterday that one of them invented – inter alia – the process whereby BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis) becomes an environmentally friendly, biological pesticide. Rather impressive, wouldn’t you say?
I was tempted to climb over the fence to get a better picture… Unfortunately for your viewing pleasure, reason won. On the upside, you get to see the classical spike French fence! I found this beautiful French home while strolling through a little town in the Yvelines, right outside Paris. I am dying to know the name of the strikingly sculptural conifer on the left. If you know it, puh-lease tell me!
I am packing my suitcase and thinking of the delectable delicacies I will see, smell and eat in Paris. If you want me to photograph and eat a specific food for you, comment on this post and I will try my best! I will be eating my way through Paris October 25-30. Be sure to check for new delightful blog posts then!