Last weekend my little sister, my dad and I went to paris!! We had an amazing time and of course we saw the beautiful monuments, but we also ate a lot of delicious food. Although Paris is already pretty amazing, we also decided to visit Versailles for one day, because we really wanted to explore the big food market over there. It was such a nice an authentic market and even though it was raining a bit, we had a great time. I actually enjoyed it so much, that I forgot to really take pictures and the few pictures I do have are not that good of a quality. Nonetheless I still wanted to share my experience at this market.
There were all kind of different stalls, which were located on the square, but there were also some stalls inside the halls that surrounded the square. We basically went through the market and bought little things along the way. What surprised me was the wide variety of fruits and vegetables available and also the high quality of the foods. Almost all the foods were locally grown, and probably also organic. There was this one stall, with an African family selling all different kinds foods, which I had never seen before. So of course as I am terribly curious I bombarded them with questions about the foods they had and they were kind enough to answer all of them. What i found especially interesting was this food you see in picture below
I had no idea what it could be, it looked like a pepper or maybe a pumpkin. It turned out to be a wild African aubergine! I love the way that they all had different shapes and colours, which often means that they are wild or at least locally grown. There was also this weird kind of greenish vegetable, to me it looked almost like a could or bumpy mango of some sort, but according to the lady it was a variety of zucchini. I wish I had taken a picture of it as well, but as I mentioned earlier I was to busy enjoying myself.
Then there was this other stall, where they had the most delicious looking strawberries, also they were all different kinds. The marketer explained that they were all different crossings of strawberries, we ended up getting this variety that had a spicy flavour, like some had sprinkled cayenne pepper on top. We also got some that were a cross-breed with forest strawberries, so they were very sweet and a little smaller. While she was packing those up, I noticed they also had some passionfruit, which I had not had in a while, so I asked for some of those as well. Then, as a great seller always does, she recommended me a different kind of passionfruit; granadilla, I had never seen it before and of course she talked me into buying them. I am so happy I did! They might be one of my top five favorite fruits now. They are from the same family as your “ordinary” purple passionfruit, but instead they have a yellow-orange colour, are slightly bigger, less wrinkled and their flavour is just heavenly. It taste like a pineapple, melon, apple, lime, mangosteen and a gooseberry. Sorry but there is no other way I could describe it’s fresh and sweet flavour. It turns out they sell them everywhere in Paris and in Belgium as well, so the last days in Paris I ate as many as I could.
After devouring those strawberries and granadilla, we past this stunning tomato stand. It had all different kinds of tomatoes; small, big, green, yellow, round and every other shape. My dad got into a conversation with him and he told us about his passion for tomatoes and that he is quite mad at the dutch people from shipping their tomatoes everywhere. He explained us which tomato you could use best for what dish and we ended up with a bag full of all the different varieties he had. My favourite kind were the small round, dark-greenish tomatoes you can see in picture below.
There where many more delicious foods, especially the mushrooms (those morels were the biggest I had ever seen) and also the asparagus, were exceptional. What I noticed was that all the sizes of the foods are the market differed a lot from the sizes of the foods I find here in Holland. For example the cantaloupes in Holland are quite big and have a lot of lines, however those at the market in Versailles were very small. On the other had their artichokes, potatoes and asparagus were massive compared to the ones in Holland.
I could write a lot more, but I think I will leave it here. Hopefully I can come back one day and do a more in dept story on this market with some better quality pictures. If anyone has any questions about the market you can send me a message via email.
LOCATION AND OPENING HOURS
Halles de Versaillles
Carré à la Farine
78000 Versailles France
Tuesday and Saturday from 07:00 until 19:30
Sunday from 07:00 until 14:00