What's in season at the market in Paris?

Sunflowers. Tournesol 

Even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky yesterday morning, the nip in the air reminded me that summer is drawing to a close. Am I sad about the change of seasons? Not when there are so many delicious seasonal foods to be found at the local market. So, get your jacket and let's go. But first, here are a couple of French phrases that it's helpful to know when buying fruits, vegetables, nuts and mushrooms:

  • Hello I would like...  (Bonjour je voudrais...)
  • How much? How many?  (Combien?)
  • And what else?  (Et avec ceci? or Et avec ça?)
  • Will that be all?  (Ce sera tout?)
  • That's all. Thank you.  (C'est tout. Merci.)
  • Help yourself.  (Servez -vous.)
  • For today  (Pour aujourd'hui)
  • For tomorrow  (Pour demain)
  • A kilo  (Un kilo)
  • 500 grams   (Une livre)

Swiss chard (Côte de bette) is a wonderful addition to hearty soups
Heirloom tomatoes. Tomates d'autrefois. Delicious with a sprinkling of Fleur de Sel and olive oil.

Although the fruits and vegetables may be within easy reach, the vendor will normally select the produce for you. You may tell them if you plan to eat it today or tomorrow. If it's alright for you to make your own selection, they'll indicate by gesturing with their hand and saying, "Servez-vous". I had the difficult task of choosing my own tomatoes yesterday. They all looked delicious.

Many vendors will let you sample small fruits like grapes, but it's best to ask first. ("Je peux goûter?")

Grapes. (Raisins). They're indescribably sweet right now!
Mirabelle Plums. Mirabelles.
I don't even know what these are called in English. Help!
Figs. Figues.
I usually stroll through the market to see which stands have the best produce and the lowest prices. Is there a long line in front of a stall? That's a good sign because locals always return to their favorite vendors. 

It can be a bit tricky to figure out where the line starts at a market stall, but there is a system. If you're not sure, just stand back and watch how things work before getting in line.

Eggplants (USA) Aubergine (French and UK English)
Fresh Hazelnuts. Noisettes.
Potatoes (Pommes de terres). Sorry, Idaho but France has the best ones that I've ever eaten.
Fresh walnuts. Noix fraîches.

Did I miss something? I took lots of other photos but didn't post all of them. If there's a seasonal fruit or vegetable that you would like to see, let me know and I'll take a picture of it for you.

And if you've made if this far, you deserve a treat. At least that's what I told myself when I stopped at the bakery on the way home and bought a sinfully rich chocolate macaron. As you can see, I did something that the French rarely do. I took two (!!) bites of it while walking down the street and then decided to show a bit of restraint by waiting to eat the rest of it until I got home.

Macaron - delicious! Macaron - délicieux!


  1. I just saw this link through TA - thanks very much for this! I'm Coco from TA btw. I just love reading blogs about Paris. Makes me feel like I'm still there :-)

  2. Squash and pumpkins, Mary Kay. You're losing your English!

  3. Yes, pumpkins, gourds, and squash.

    Apples. where are the apples?

    Maybe this weekend I'll take photos at my farmers market to share.

  4. Coco, Let me know if there's anything in particular that you're missing in Paris and I'll try to get a photo of it for you to help alleviate the Post Paris Vacation Depression.

    Thanks, Anne! I was going to say that they're squash and pumpkins but then I got hung up wondering if there is a more specific name for them. Somebody on Trip Advisor said that they're butternut squash. I'll guess that I'll just go with squash, pumpkins, and gourds.

    Joseph, Given the time of year, I would have expected more apples but there just aren't that many at the market yet and the ones that were there didn't look that great. I love fresh apple cider in the fall. Yes, please take some photos at your farmer's market. I still remember seeing the ones of the potatoes that you took a couple of months ago. I would love to see what's in season in Chicago!

  5. Will do.

    Question: what program allows you to have the "You might also like" option at the base of a blog? I would like to add it to mine, but I haven't found the trick.

  6. Joseph, It's funny that you should ask about "You might also like" because thanks to Anne (who commented above) I can give you the answer. It's one of the helpful tips that she gave me when I was creating my blog. Here's the link where you can get the free widget: http://www.linkwithin.com/learn

    I don't always agree with the posts that the widget recommends, but I'm still pleased to have it so that readers can see similar content without having to use the search function. It's fairly straight forward - an html code that you copy and paste, but let me know if you have any problems with it.

  7. Yeah, Mary Kay. It worked! Thanks.

  8. Joseph, I just went to your blog to check. The widget looks good!

  9. How lovely...I was in France this summer and loved going to the markets, there where so many items that we never see here. Thank you for sharing, I am envious that you get to live in Paris; I can hardly wait to return again.

  10. La Vie, Going to the market is one of the best bargains in Paris - it doesn't cost anything to look, smell and enjoy.

    After looking at your blog, I'm envious that you have such a gorgeous brick floor and charming home! You obviously put a lot of effort into your projects and it shows.


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