Most folks who have spent even a minimal amount of time with me have heard me sing the praises of Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. It’s basically my absolute favorite city-aspect of Philadelphia. One of my favorite weekend activities was getting up early and heading down to the market to pick up some fresh produce, the best bacon ever produced, raw shrimp, a steak, a 16 oz juice from my juice stand (4 Seasons Juice), and the best pretzel on earth (Miller’s Twist).
In San Francisco, friends would often ask me if I was loving the fresh produce at all the farmer’s markets. I would typically say I missed Reading Terminal (as it had EVERYTHING in it I needed), and thought the market scene was better in Philly.
I’m here to tell you today, Reading Terminal has NOTHING on French markets.
I don’t know what they’re doing differently, but the produce is just stunning. Everything is fresh and lasts so much longer. I’m starting to wonder if those brown paper bags have some magical quality that preserve fruits and vegetables. We’ve bought asparagus that has lasted for 3-4 days in the refrigerator and still been crisp/delicious.
Right now, our apartment is happily sandwiched between two amazing markets: Marché Cristal and Marché Victor Hugo. I’m currently working on befriending the folks who work in the boulangerie, the pork station, the pasta station, the steak station, the fromagerie, along with the fish in the Victor Hugo. My dream is to be able to start having conversations with them in French and get amazing cooking advice and cuts of meat and such they don’t have in the USA. Oh, and I’m dying to purchase rabbit. Jim is not “dying,” but I think he’ll go along with my enthusiasm. Has anyone cooked rabbit at home? Any tips/tricks?
Marché Cristal is equally impressive. I’d guess it’s about 5-10 blocks of fruits, vegetables, and nuts from various vendors. I purchased a juicer a couple weeks ago (rather proud of my Click & Collect adventure with Darty), and I’ve been trying out a few juicing recipes, all of which have been rather tasty thus far.
More to come on each of these, but just know I’ve been ruined for life. I may never enjoy food shopping in the US again.