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Market Shopping: Marché des Enfants Rouges

Marché des Enfants RougesMeg Zimbeck

If you enjoy the Marais and are a history buff or a market troll, you must take the time to discover the oldest market in Paris : le Marché des Enfants Rouges.

First off, a little history to get everyone situated. Marguerite de Navarre, sister of King François the 1st and mother of King Henri the 4th (who was the one to end the religious wars that had been bloodying France), was a very well educated, politically engaged and charitable member of the royal family. In 1534 she had an orphanage constructed in what is now the Marais whose little pensioners were dressed in red as a symbol of their status. The orphanage was closed in the beginning of the 17th century and in 1615 was transformed into a market dubbed the Marché des Enfants Rouges (market of red children) to commemorate the charitable establishment that had occupied the site for almost a century.

Marché des Enfants RougesMeg Zimbeck

It remains a market today and has been on the list of national historical monuments since 1982. Today, neighborhood locals still congregate to shop for produce and fresh products, to have a coffee and to converse with other locals, old-timers and merchants. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Shopping | 12 Comments »

Paris Souvenirs: What You Shouldn’t Leave France Without

Souvenirs from ParisImages courtesy of Marvin Shaouni, Cesarastudilo, Quinn.Anya

Just like any other major city, Paris has its fair share of kitschy souvenirs on offer. Indeed, the word souvenir itself is French. And I’ll be the first to admit that I still have the mini Eiffel tower that my best friend brought back for me years ago. In recent trips, however, I haven’t looked twice at the knickknacks on display all over the city. Instead, when the time comes for me to return home from Paris – as it did earlier this month – my suitcase is packed with a different species of souvenirs to enjoy back on American soil. And they basically all have to do with food.

Sel de GuerandeSel de Guérande – Fritish

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Shopping | 15 Comments »