A great thing about the apartment I’m renting with my friend Tracy in Paris next March is its proximity to Le Marché des Enfants-Rouges. And one of the things I love about Paris is saying that this, the oldest covered food market in Paris, has been around nearly 400 years. Just think of all the foods carted in, placed in beautiful displays, selected by shoppers and then cooked in delicious dinners during that time. And I’ll join the tradition.
That said, I know from experience that just because I have a kitchen in Europe doesn’t mean I’ll cook. We cooked a little in Provence over the summer but that’s only because we ran out of money before we ran out of trip. In our beautiful villa with the huge kitchen in Tuscany we cooked only one dinner.
But even if I don’t wander the market pretending to be Parisian for a day (I do that by toting a baguette) while shopping for dinner, I anticipate a few visits for an inexpensive takeaway lunch at some of the offerings like Moroccan, classic French bistro, Italian or even sushi.
I read that small covered markets in Paris are slowly dying, unable to compete with supermarkets. That makes it a bit bittersweet, but then again, so does only getting to make it my neighborhood market for a week. I can’t wait to sniff the cheese, pick up some flowers for the apartment and take a break in the wine bar.
Oh, and the story behind the name Enfants-Rouges? It’s kind of heart-tugging — evidently the children in a nearby orphanage (closed in the 16th century) dressed in red.