It is 7:30 am and still the sun has not risen. Winter in Paris is cold and dark. Yet out there in the obscurity, there are farmers and merchants busy setting up their stalls for the discerning and hungry people who will soon descend upon the fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken and cheese, beautifully laid out for sale.
While the dead of winter is hardly the romantic, visually riotous, delicious time to be leasurly wandering outdoor markets in search of dinner (or lunch) it is a good time to see what Parisians like to eat. People are bundled up and in a hurry to get their shopping done... none of the lingering of the summer months. Still, there is so much choice - who knew winter vegetables could be so varied and so lush?
The choice of potatoes (not to mention oysters) is staggering, and people buy! If you are late in arriving, or a dawdler (like me) 1:30 comes along and half the merchants are packing up what little remains of their once full to the brim stands.
Each market is different, representing the taste of the surrounding neighborhood and it's inhabitants. There are stands with hand made breads, artisanal cheeses from small farms and hot prepared foods from around the world.
So begins an adventure in Paris, exploring the 65 markets in 18 arrondissements. From the typically parisian to the ethnic neighborhoods, the weekly open air and the more permanent covered markets to the shopping streets, Paris is filled with food... glorious food!