Friday, October 24, 2008

Morroccan Shredded Wheat

Paris is not Lyon.

In fact, Paris is different from most of France in the same way London is different from the rest of the UK. It's large enough to become a place unto itself, with it's own customs and traditions and an experience that leads you to wonder where you were the week before.

Such was our experience as we left Lyon and moved for a week to Paris. We stayed in the Marais, right across the street from the Museé des Arts et Metiers. Our first goal, just like it was in Lyon, was to locate a good market.

Now there are many terrific markets in Paris ... one of the best sources being THIS LIST from Chocolate & Zucchini. What you'll probably notice (at least I did) is that most of the markets are situated in the outlying arrondissements, which presents a problem if you're towards the centre of Paris..
Fortunately for us, the Marché des Enfants Rouge was only a 15 minute walk away. Literally "The Market of the Red Children" (so named for a orphanage that was once in the area that dressed the tots in red uniforms) is one of the oldest markets in Paris. In addition to being covered (nice during the rainy season) the market features food stalls that offere everything from Moroccan tagine, to Italian specialties and even sushi!

We almost didn't find the Market on our first visit. The doorways are a little tricky to find, but the sounds and smells of the busy market easily gave up its location to us.

We loaded up on the basic fruits and veggies, as well as cheese (great cheese shop!) and wine. But it was the Traiteur Morocan stall that really caught our eyes ... or noses. The smells of tagine roasted lamb and veggies was distracting me from my shopping ... and the charismatic owner easily convinced me it was time for tea.

Their mint tea, I was told, was the best in all Paris and I would be missing out on one of the great pleasure in life if I passed it up. The mint was picked fresh that morning and steeped with sugar until the owner deemed it was ready. In fact he stopped one of his co-workers from serving me twice. "It's not right yet," he insisted.

The tea was accompanied by these breakfast cereal looking treats. While these may look like Shredded Wheat, I can assure you Nabisco has never made anything as sweet as this. Flavoured with honey and rosewater they were the perfect foil to the minty-est tea I've ever had. It was a perfect "good morning."

Now, about that tagine ...

Marché des Enfants Rouge
39 rue Bretagne
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30-1PM and 4PM-7: 30PM
Friday, Saturday- 8h30AM-1PM and 4PM-8PM
Sunday: 8:30AM–2PM
Metro: Filles- Calvaire or Temple

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