meta name="p:domain_verify" content="8b08da541f8a920e6 Marie Z Johnston: Marché Maubert and a Turducken Tale

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Marché Maubert and a Turducken Tale

The holidays for an ex-pat are a confusing time of year.  Not only do you miss family and friends who are miles and several time zones away, you also long for some familiar element or essential ingredient that's simply not available where you happen to be celebrating.  It's doubly so if one also happens to be Franco-American (or Italian/Dutch/Asian/Hindi/whatever - American) with one foot in each country.

Latkes, our special Menorah, apple sauce and creme fraiche
Beginning with Thanksgiving, for as far back as I can remember, we were nostalgic about one aspect or another of holiday celebrating in which ever country we happened not to be in.  This has not improved with the passing of the years, and I think I may have made things worse by passing the affliction on to my kids, just as my (French) mother and (Scottish-American) father passed it on to me.

Hortance inspecting the Thanksgiving feast.
For the past three years we have celebrated Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas in Paris.  My daughter invited her friends and their families to our first Parisian Thanksgiving, thus quickly establishing a 'tradition'.  The first year I made a plump roast turkey with all the fixings, the 2nd year everyone was served a lovely stuffed quail with 'Thanksgiving' side dishes; and while the quail was delicious, the disappointment was visible especially among our French friends. 

This year we gathered on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Which meant picking up the more perishable items on Saturday.  My poultry guy, Jean Marie told me I could pick up from him at the Marché Maubert in the 6th.  We arrived at 9:30am.  Jean Marie was late that day, he arrived at 10:45 giving us plenty of time to look around. What a gift that turned out to be!

Rain or shine - The markets are open and doing business.
The market itself is not large, and many of the better merchants were familiar to me from the Sunday market at Marché Grenelle. Good thing too, because a slight panic was beginning to set just as one of my 'regular' produce guys said "Hey! Aren't you from the 15th? What are you doing here?".  When I told him I was looking for Jean-Marie, he reassured me;  saying that Jean-Marie would arrive before 11, and not to worry. 
The Marché Maubert is, in fact, the oldest outdoor food market in Paris, dating back to the 15oo's (yes, medieval times) it was originally located on the left bank, by the bridge facing Notre Dame.  Now, a few blocks inland from it's original location, the market is situated on lovely Place Maubert and the Boulveard St Germain leads right to it from the hub of the Latin Quarter. 
Friendly Fish man in the shop adjacent to the Marche Maubert
This is a three day per week market, but no worries, go to Place Maubert anyway as the specialty food shops along the Place are worth a visit even on non market days. What am I saying?  The Fromager Laurent Dubois (who clearly deserves that Meilleur Ouvrier de France award) is worth the trip alone
Fromager Laurent Dubois has another store in the 15th, though not as nice as this one
This shop also carries Bordier butter - which, for the 'fanas' is probably blessed news. Yes, I did go home with cheese and butter.
Jean-Marie eventually arrived with my poultry order - but not until I'd run across M. Magnien who grows some pretty extraordinary root vegetables. Including deep red carrots, purple parsnips, black potatoes and my favorite yellow and candy stripe beets. Yes, I went home with some of those too.
We like a produce man with a sense of humor!
This year, in deference (defiance?) to custom, I made Turducken. Not the whole stuffed bird done Cajun style, but rather a boneless turkey breast, rolled with duck breast and chicken sausage.  It was delicious.  Beautiful to look at sliced on the plate and delicious to eat - the Turkey was moist, the duck was pink and the chicken sausage gave depth and spice to the whole. Amazingly enough, I did not take one photo. Not during assembly, or  straight out of the oven, not during the slicing, not plated (and it was lovely to look at) or at the table. Nope, not one. There is, however, one photo that Davis took of the (really delicious) pie she made for dessert. Which is how new family traditions, and memories, are started...
Maple Pecan Pie, a holiday tradition - even in Paris
May you always appreciate the old family traditions, and embrace the new!
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
A Bientot,


Marché Maubert
Metro:  Maubert-Mutualité (Line 10)

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday  7:30am - 2:30pm

View Marché Maubert in a larger map


Rachel - De Ma Cuisine said...

Your marche sounds amazing!! So does all the food you made for Thanksgiving! It's always fun to read about your adventures in Paris! :)

Marie Z said...

Wow! Thanks Rachel. The holidays are such an interesting time for many families - especially those of us who are scattered across the globe. Traditions give us the "warm n fuzzy" feeling, and the new traditions bring us current, welcome new family members, encourage new-comers to the kitchen (like my daughter for instance) Celebrating here in Paris these last 3 years has brought me closer, in some ways, to my American roots that I could have ever imagined! Thank you for your support! It's nice to hear from readers - to know they are, in fact, out there!

Karen Morgan said...

What a lovely read! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and information - I am enjoying them vicariously. Happy holidays to you!

Kathi Speller said...

I want a slice of Davis's pie! Yum!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

Marie Z said...

Ha! Could use one about now too Kathi - it was delicious and a surprise. Davis made it while I was out picking up the poultry... and she did a great job too! I told her she's now the maple pecan pie queen!

@Karen: Thanks so much and happy holidays to you as well.

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful story for the holidays. I am always intrigued as to how people from other countries react to our food and traditions. Although I too am far from my family, I spent Thanksgiving with friends here in Oregon. I brought 5 count 'em 5 desserts and 4 of them were French. I joked with my friends that my chocolat-framboise pots de creme was just like the one that the Pilgrims made.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your read this morning. I consider myself in there with some of your deeper California roots. I can almost smell your kitchen and hear Janine, Sandy (whose birthday is tomorrow) and Sydney all laughing. Ah, food, family and friends. You create a tavolo caldo or "warm fuzzy" wherever you are. Davis's pie, hearts and all looks divine, and it also looks like you've passed the baton.....again! Lucky girl.