I must admit that I haven’t felt as rooted to the ground here in France as I had been in The Netherlands. The unkept wildness and simplicity of Amsterdam has made a lasting effect on my being, leaving me longing for crisp sea air and close ties to the water. I especially miss the freedom and independence of cycling, but most of all it would have to be my awareness of the horizon and vast flat landscapes that gave me a sense of security. No such feelings exist for me in my new capital, except for when I do my weekly vegetable stock up at the Marché Biologique Raspail.
This would have to be my “escape to” place in Paris. Nestled away in the 6éme on Boulevard Raspail, between metros Rennes and Sèvres-Babylone, is the most extensive organic market Paris has to offer. I believe it is here that I developed my taste buds for the homegrown and appreciation for the aesthetic beauty of nature itself. It’s clear why the French are so passionate about their food, with fresh vegetables, locally sourced organic wines, cheese, meat and fish, it’s not difficult to feel completely inspired to jump into the kitchen and get creative.
For me personally as a vegan, visiting the organic market has been somewhat of an education in nutrition. I understand seasonal produce, which helps me to feel grounded once more to the cycle of my surroundings and I’ve experimented with colours, smells, textures and, tastes in and out of the kitchen, all thanks to the kind market stall sellers who continually stir my curiosities and keep me well informed. There are times when I just float past the stalls, observing in awe, the colours, shapes and complexities of these natural forms that spring from the earth.
Now, I don’t eat animal produce, but these organic cheeses look and smell superb, as does the organic poultry, pastries, bread, tarts and soups which you can pick up for your Sunday lunch.The organic market isn’t the cheapest place to regularly shop your entire grocery list, but it’s a great place to grab lunch, a few products to take back home (if you happen to be visiting from abroad) and to embrace a bit of Parisian life at its finest.
Visit the Marché Biologique Raspail on Sundays, but get there as early as possible if you’d like to grab lunch or nab yourself the best of the fresh seasonal produce. The nearest metro station is Rennes (line 12), otherwise Saint Sulpice (line 4) is also a stone throw away. For more info see here.