In addition to all the markets that pop up around the city daily, sometimes there are extra-special markets. These are Marche des Producteurs.
The regular markets are more like an outdoor grocery store. You can get produce out of season; apples from Chile, oranges from Spain, melons from Morocco. Most of them do have a great deal of locally grown produce, and the quailty is almost always much higher than the local supermarche, and there are plenty of specialty vendors.
The Marche des Producteurs are all France-based farmers in artesianal food vendors. Lots of cured meats, foire gras, honeys and jams, wines and beers. All the good stuff.
We did have quite a nice afternoon, wandering the stalls, being forced and coerced to try all this great stuff. There was soap made from horse's milk, and hamburgers with pedigrees. The vendors were chatty and in love with what they did. It was less of a job to them as a passion, and what the final results were pretty heavenly.
They don't happen every weekend or in the same spot, so you have to go to the website to track them down. There was only two vendors selling fruit, which was lucky since it was peak strawberry season. Most strawberry vendors sell multiple varieties, so it's good to buy as many kinds as you possibly can, just in case you don't care for one or the other. We liked them all just fine and made a nice picnic out of them.
It was hard when to walk away, as we still don't have a proper kitchen or storage. We promised ourselves we'd go easy until then, but for me, it basically means staying away from all markets all the time. Seeing all the beautiful things to cook and not being able to treat the ingredients respectfully (hello, microwave...I'm looking at you) means I have to lay off.
Luckily, we move on Friday. Just in time...there are beautiful tomatoes and cherries to be had, and I'm still finding strawberries that are fantastic. I want nothing more than to bake them in a pie.