Upcoming farmers’ market in the 12th arr.

Fromage at farmers marketI’ve mentioned my love for Paris markets many times. While the weekly farmers’ markets are always worth visiting; I especially enjoy the special markets for produce and items from around the country.

There’s a Marché des Producteurs de Pays scheduled for May 22 and 23 in the 12th arr. It’s conveniently located between metros Daumesnil and Dugommier.

Keep an eye out for socks and blankets from angora sheep, dandelion wine, sheep’s milk soap, regional cheese and cookies, and buy a hunk of bread from the 3 feet wide circles.

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Bubbles Dietbar near the Marais

Cicero spoke about the guilty of conscience:

Guilt is present in the very hesitation, even though the deed be not committed.
Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

Bubbles diet bar in ParisBubbles Dietbar’s healthy outlook made me feel like a downright felon tonight. It probably also makes many others feel the pang of guilt as they walk past this tiny cafe of diet goodness. It’s bad enough that I have to pass it as I walk over to Falafel Alley.

Bubbles even sits next door to an American style Diner! How could someone possibly eat a stack of pancakes with eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, and coffee while next door is this quaint cafe filled with healthy food?

Fortunately, Bubbles Dietbar was closed tonight. I was able to walk straight by to King Falafel to grab an overflowing falafel pita. This is actually the first time I’ve seen the cafe. Its bright green awning would normally catch my eye. So, perhaps this is a new restaurant for Paris.

Their online menu shows a plethora of vegetarian soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. They are conveniently located near the St. Paul metro. I’ll have to find a new route to falafel alley or I may find myself pressured into eating something healthy when I’ve got my heart set on something else.

Bubbles Dietbar
4 rue Malher (4°) Paris
01 40 29 42 41
Metro: St. Paul, Bastille, Chemin Vert
Soup and Salad Bar
Free Wifi

Le Campanier – The weekly grab bag of organic produce

I love Paris markets. It’s truly one of the greatest joys of living in this city.

However, I also work long hours and can’t always make it to my local markets in the morning. This leaves Saturday or Sunday for markets that are a few metro stops away. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an organic produce market come to you?

This is the concept behind Le Campanier, a company delivers a weekly bag filled with seasonal, organic vegetables or fruit to your local organic grocery store. You simply subscribe to the service on their web site and pick up your bag on Tuesday afternoon. The bags also feature recipes and information about the farmers and food.
Morning market

Sample Deliveries

Vegetable Bag

  • Fresh Corn (France)
  • Carrots (Italy)
  • Cucumber (Spain)
  • Tomato (Spain)
  • Lettuce (France – Manche)

Fruit Bag

  • Melon (Vergeze)
  • Peaches (Italy)
  • Mini Watermelons (Spain)

It’s worth noting that the produce included in the bags are often times hard to find in the markets. For instance, I have been looking for fresh corn in the markets without any success. They also tend to include some of the ignored vegetables of yesteryear.

Clotilde Dusoulier has a nice description of the vegetables she received one week:

I was really happy to get parsnips : they belong to what is sometimes referred to as “les légumes oubliés” (forgotten vegetables), those vegetables we used to eat a lot in the past, but which have been more or less abandoned : panais, rutabagas, salsifis, pâtissons, crosnes…

I have read that most of these were what people had to live on during the second world war, so they were promptly pushed aside after the war, because of the bad memories they brought back. Nowadays these vegetables aren’t very widely cultivated and can seldom be found at produce stands. Of course, I find the idea of forgetting a vegetable heart-breaking and cruel and terrible and saddening, it makes me want to save the vegetable and bring it back home and give it love and affection and decorate a little room for it with a little bed it can sleep in. Ahem. Anyway, I was glad to welcome those parsnips into my vegetable drawer.
Le Campanier – A lucky bag of produce

Prices are reasonable, but not super cheap. Vegetable bags are 8-12 Euros and Fruit bags are 10 Euros. However, it’s important to remember that you are supporting sustainable, organic farming and enjoying the convenience of fresh food delivered to your closest organic store.

Pierre Hermé – Patisserie to the Stars

There’s nothing particularly vegetarian about this patisserie. In fact, the place is known for its bizarre macaroon combinations that have included foie gras as a filling. However, Pierre Hermé is an amazing place to indulge in, regardless of your vegetarian/vegan/macrobiotic/organic leanings.

Legend has it: Hermé worked for Gaston Lenôtre, the world famous pastry chef. They are known as the masters of macaroons and this historic patisserie has been serving the aristocracy for decades. However, Hermé felt the urge to move on and opened his first place just down the street on Rue Bonaparte.

Where Lenôtre is about classic French taste (etoile patterns, delicate macaroons, pastels…), Pierre Hermé is bold, experimental, funky, surprising, and above all delicious.

It’s enough to get the true French Queen, Catherine Deneuve, to wait in line for morning pastries. At least that is the story I’ve heard and desperately want to believe. I love the idea of standing in line for an almond croissant with such a legend, chatting about the latest macaroon, working with Luis Bunuel, and the muggy weather.

I was surprised by the reasonable prices. The almond croissant was the same price as the flat, spongy thing seen in more common patisseries around the city. The macaroons were beyond description. I tested the passion fruit and chocolate creation. I also bought his signature chocolate balls. Unfortunately, I didn’t eat them fast enough and they grew mold. That’s what you get when you expect your food to be filled with preservatives and someone hands you a touch of purity. Oh well, I’ll just have to make another trip.

There’s a bunch of photos on Flickr from people that enjoy the goodies at Pierre Herme. They’ll give you an idea of the passion these morsels create. If you are looking for a delicious dessert, a quick pick me up, or a great gift to bring back home: visit Pierre Hermé.

Pierre Hermé
72, rue Bonaparte (6°)
01 43 54 47 77
Metro: St-Germian de Prés
  • Overall: 5/5
  • Location: 5/5
  • Value: 4.5/5
  • Taste: 5/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Vegetarian Friendly: 4/5
  • Vegan Friendly: 3/5

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