The Organic Market at Boulevard Raspail, Paris

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I have been to this organic market several times. But I NEVER tire of it. One of the primary reasons for setting up this blog was to write about markets and the produce in them, and I always feel a shot of adrenaline when I stroll through street markets in Paris, provincial markets in Albay, the sprawling Queen Victoria market in Melbourne, the Union Square market and similar markets in dozens of cities around the world. I draw inspiration and energy from the markets, it’s hard to explain, really. So without much more commentary, here are the photos from this particular trip to the Raspail organic market…

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Citrus, apples, pears and mangoes? Hmmm, maybe they are from Africa or India…

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The squashes were the star of the season.

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Mushrooms, turnips artichokes(?)… these may be organic, but several items are “out of season” it seems… the wonders of greenhouses I suppose.

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Radicchio treviso, cherry tomatoes on the vine and mushrooms.

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Pomegranates and figs… the latter at Euro14.80! That’s nearly five times the price of figs in Lisbon last month! :)


Amazing blueberries or myrtilles.

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Organic chickens, ducks and other types of meat.

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Just a fraction of the cheese selection.


Carrots, celery root, cauliflower and savoy cabbage.


An amazing selection of produce.

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The attention to displays and lighting is impressive (you don’t see this as much for their regular market days) and partially explains the high prices.

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Oysters can be shucked for you at 8 in the morning…

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…or you can have fish…


…or other seafood. When you are visiting Paris for only a few days, the selection of produce is overwhelming as you simultaneously want to have the bitter salad greens, with lots of the squashes, and and oh the chilled celery root salads, the citrus, etc. and there just isn’t enough time. NOT ENOUGH TIME. :)


12 Responses

  1. It’s another deluge! Woohoo!

    I also get a shot of adrenaline from markets; one of the first pieces I wrote for an online community I used to moderate for was about my love for (wet) markets. Besides, produce photographs beautifully most of the time; they’re such easy subjects that you get to nosh on afterwards. Har…

  2. For me the rush comes from the thought of all the possibilities that the raw products can be turned into. Going to the market always, always whets my appetite! Wish more of our local markets would offer that kind of variety…

  3. When I went to Philippines last Jan 2014, (I go yearly on summer months) I intentionally booked a hotel close to Farmer Market in QC because I was hoping to find Atis or Lansones which is out of season. No atis, but 1 store carried Lansones from Thailand, and even though it was expensive (P380.00/kilo), I bought 5 kilos.
    I love the place, I could have gone around longer but I had to go.
    I too love Markets, and next time I visit Pinas again this November, I wanted to checked-out Dapitan and Caloocan markets,

  4. I am fond of the large beans in the 4th shot. I mix them with giant lima beans and serve them à la grecque. I also go out of my way to obtain them for my paella.

    Émile Zola actually wrote a novel about the goings on among certain Parisian food merchants, Le Ventre de Paris set in the newly constructed Les Halles (le al) that was demolished in 1971 but your spate of posts on Parisian flowers shops and food markets brings to mind Verlaine and Joyce, particularly:

    “Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches. Et puis voici mon coeur, qui ne bat que pour vous.” Paul Verlaine

    “Thither the extremely large wains bring foison of the fields, flaskets of cauliflowers, floats of spinach, pineapple chunks, Rangoon beans, strikes of tomatoes, drums of figs, drills of Swedes, spherical potatoes and tallies of iridescent kale…” James Joyce, Ulysses, 1922

  5. The last photo….are those mud crabs with aligue?
    I love the “freshness” of this post!

  6. Betchay, I’m not sure if they are technically mud crab, but I think they are crab with roe… Footloose, how you remember all of that and relate it to the post at hand is amazing. EbbaBlue, next time you are home, try and visit the Centris Sunday Market in Quezon City, it has terrific produce and a good plants section. Kass, I have so many posts in my backlog, not enough time to prep and write and post them!

  7. @EbbaBlue, if you are fond of lanzones, time your trip home to coincide with the lanzones festival in Camiguin. For atis and all its close cousins, you have to visit Latin America. Or just come and visit Toronto’s many Chinatowns. You have to eat them all though before crossing the border. Once you are caught bringing with you forbidden fruit, they add your name to the circularized register of fruit offenders. You are then set for baggage inspection for life in all the US entry points.

  8. Baeutufl! Thank you for giving us a peek into how these markets look like. I’m curious, how do they look like at the tail end of the market day? Almost all sold out?
    By chance , did you ever get to meet this farmer Joel Thiebault?

  9. Beautiful photos! Ebbalue, you made long for lanzones. Haven’t eaten them for years. Googled that Camiguin festival and read that it’s held every third week of October. Looks like worth a special visit. For atis, try those from Vietnam – always sweet, rich and creamy with hardly any seeds.

  10. I visit camiguin annually. The last good season for lanzones was probably 2007. They were everywhere during the months of September and October. They sold them for P10/kilo…and they don’t care if you sample even a kilo worth. The abundance was overwhelming. After 2007, there aren’t as many and the cheapest would be P35/kilo and they aren’t always as sweet.

  11. Uh oh, I hope it’s not global warming and just a temporary aberration in rainfall pattern. Back here, in spite of the expanding draught, we’re still getting extraordinary great fruits from California. The white-fleshed peaches and nectarines are so sweet and juicy, they are hard to enjoy not wearing a bib and without generating involuntary obscene noises.

  12. Marketman, as far as artichokes are concerned, there is an early harvest in spring, but normally also a 2nd harvest in mid-autumn (right about the time that winter squash harvest starts). Not sure when you were in Paris but the artichokes were probably *not* out of season.



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