As students in superior cuisine and pastry, it’s important for us to not only know how to prepare our food, but also where our food comes from and how to pick out quality ingredients from a quality vendor. There’s no where better to see where Paris gets its food than a visit to the Rungis Market, the largest food market in the world!
Located just outside Paris, Rungis serves as the go-to place for wholesale fish, meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and even fresh flowers! As you can imagine, the sheer amount of land that the Rungis Market covers is just astounding. The whole place reminded me of a theme park actually. There was a shuttle that drove us to each of the different areas (i.e., Fish Town, Meat Country, Produce Square, Dairyland, and Floral Street) and dropped us off at each main entrance. After walking through the entire warehouse, we reached the exit where the shuttle was waiting to take us to our next destination.
So on the day of our market tour, we all met up at school super early in the morning and took a chartered bus to Rungis. By the time we got there, the sun was just about to rise, and we were already too late to visit Fish Town=/ If we had actually wanted to see the fish market during trading hours, we would have had to arrive at 2am >< Oh, wells!
We did get there just in time before the meat market closed and even though it was good news, the sight of all the fresh meat in the warehouse was a bit hard to stomach so early in the morning. Needless to say, the images below are definitely not suited for the faint of heart. Just quickly scroll down to get to the fresh produce =P
After Meat Country, we headed directly towards Dairyland, and believe me, we didn’t need a guide to tell us where we were because the smell was just so overpowering =P After all, the French sure do love their stinky cheeses!
Next up was Produce Square, where we saw some of the freshest, highest quality fruits and veggies that almost looked too pretty to eat!
Lucky for us, t’was the season for pumpkins and squashes, wild mushrooms, and chestnuts! (looking oh, so cute in their spiny burrs =P)
Our last stop, Floral Street, was all about fresh flowers and just so happened to be the nicest smelling area in all of Rungis =) Vendors there sold roses of just about every color and the most beautiful calla lilies (my favorite =D) in all of Paris!
I almost didn’t want to leave, but it was already mid-morning and all of us were starving. We headed to the market cafe to enjoy a Rungis-style breakfast… a meat platter with fresh croissants and our choice of either coffee or hot chocolate. On the crisp, autumn morning, hot chocolate definitely hit the spot