July 5, 2008

on the streets of paris

Posted in paris tagged , , at 8:27 pm by Malia Yoshioka

one of the most glorious things about being in paris in the summertime is the prevalence of open markets. back home, one of my favorite ways to spend a saturday morning was at the local farmers’ market, and it was something that i thought i’d miss sorely being away from home for so long. yet this morning on my way to school, i passed through a street market teeming with all kinds of fresh seasonal produce, butcher’s counters with endless choices of raw meat, fresh baked breads, many varieties of local cheeses and takeaway meals and salads. i was in heaven!

bastille sunday market


as if in a trance, i was pulled this way and that by all my senses – the scent of fresh nectarines, then the vibrant green of a pile of zucchini, then the chill of the seafood counter where tiny red shrimps waited patiently on ice to be the next selection. a young man at the cheese counter called out to me “bonjour mademoiselle!” and then proceeded to draw out a string of french that went by way too quickly for me to understand, reminding me that i was late for my french lessons. i simply smiled and kept walking in the direction of my school.

bastille sunday market

suddenly, i was pulled backwards by the most amazing smell – even better than the fresh baked baguettes and pastries, more delectable than the piles of strawberries and cherries that are now in season. i was going merrily on my way to class like a good little etudiante, but this delicious aroma stopped me dead in my tracks, and i just had to turn around. there before me sat a large rotisserie cabinet full of chickens, skins covered with herbs and dripping their golden juices slowly into the pan below which contained rows and rows of tiny little potatoes. it was so beautiful that i wanted to cry.

bastille sunday market

as i was running late already, i had no time to stop, but i vowed to come back as soon as class was over. in class we went through practical french terms and questions, including things i knew would help me later with the rotisserie stand.

an hour later i stood confidently in front of the counter and uttered the sentence i’d crafted carefully in class, je voudrais un demi petit poulet et les pommes de terres, s’il vous plait. the man at the counter and the customer standing in line next to me both helped me to conduct the entire exchange in french, and i walked away with the most amazing meal! i rushed back to the hotel to share it with my roommate as it was way too much for me to eat alone, but i couldn’t help patting myself on my back for not having to resort to english for a change.

bastille sunday market

and my prize? a half rotisserie chicken and a little container of those gorgeous potatoes, enough for two or three to share, all for the bargain price of 4.20 euros – or about $6.50. the chicken was delicious and moist, and the potatoes were covered in the fragrant garlic and herb sauce from the chicken, just oozing with flavor. to date, one of the best meals i’ve had in paris. the weather outside is rainy today, unfortunately, although next time i plan to stop at the market again and make a picnic to take to a park, maybe with a bottle of wine. i could really get used to this…

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6 Comments »

  1. Anna said,

    Oh, thank you for posting this. It sounds like my very vision of the perfect foreign experience. Plus, I roast a lot of chickens with herbs in my small, USA kitchen. Now, I think I’ll add some small potatoes to my pan!

    Best wishes, and enjoy that picnic!

    Anna

  2. Mom said,

    Where’s the picture of the chicken?:) Wish this blog had “smell-o-vision?!:)

  3. christy said,

    nice malia. and i like the updated look of the blog. very cool

  4. Judy Mertens (friend of Suzy) said,

    Aloha Malia … Suzy just told me you are in Paris … about five years ago I went to Paris to take a two week intensive course in floral design. Through your writing I am reliving that wonderful time. I loved the city and everything about it. I wanted to suggest you visit the floral shop of Christian Tortu, my most favority floral designer. He is amazing and quite different than others. His shop is easy to find … and I think you’d love it.

    I also have a wonderful friend there whom I met in Hong Kong, and she is now married and lives near the metro station of Gare de Leon (I think!) Anyway, her husband owns two small hotels in Paris, and they are planning on coming to Maui for a vacation. She is so excited, as they’ve never been here before. If you need anything let me know and I’ll send you her name.

    Happy Happy Paris days to you … and I will continue to visit you blog and travel vicariously through your experiences and writing. With much aloha, Judy Mertens

  5. Brianne said,

    yummy yumm in my tummy tum

  6. […] at 8:46 pm by maliayosh we went to the bastille market yesterday and i took some pictures to add to my old entry about the market near my school… […]


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