Marché Bastille

I’ve been meaning to write about this market from the first day I moved into my apartment. The day I arrived in Paris, the realtor said I was so lucky to be living in this neighborhood as one of the best open air markets in all of Paris was held right around the corner from me. At first I was hesitant to believe this, and after the first few weeks of gloomy weather in Paris, the market didn’t seem all that great to me. Then, these past few weeks, as spring has started to come out from behind the clouds and I’ve visited more markets around the city, I’ve come to realize just how truly amazing my corner marché really is.

I think what really amazes me the most is how much produce you can get for so little money. I will walk away with bags of apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots, onions, some spices and perhaps a baguette having only spent 10 euro max! I like to walk over to the market with only a limited supply of change to see how far I can stretch it. I usually do an entire circle of the markets before deciding on my purchases so that I can see what looks best and get the better deal.

The best part about walking through the markets, besides the obvious visual pleasing foods, is the sounds and smells. On one side of the market towards, towards the Bastille roundabout, there are many Middle Eastern vendors, hawking their wears at dirt cheap prices. The sounds of “UN EURO UN EURO POUR UN KILO” is heard often and they are always offering my slices of clementines. Seriously, I’m only ever offered clementines – what about an apple slice?

As you walk further north, you see the more mom and pop type stands that clearly have their regular customers. Lines at these places can often be quite long as each customer is given as much time as they need to pick out their foods. I don’t often buy so much from these vendors as they tend to be a lot more expensive. 

In regards to smell, huge chicken roasters are found on every aisle and as the weather gets warmer, the flowers are becoming more and more beautiful every week. While the market happens twice a week, once on Sundays and once on Thursdays, Sunday is definitely the better day to go. There are more vendors our in general on Sundays and there is just a bit more of a livelier atmosphere as more people have time to shop on the weekends. 

I love walking past the fish stands. Huge trays of ice sit out holding countless types of fish and sea creatures. Oysters and mussels are quite popular and many merchants just have huge baskets of them sitting right on their tables, all that much easier for picking through. I don’t eat oysters or mussels myself, but they’re quite interesting to look at.

I always try to grab a box of eggs as half a dozen organic eggs is half the price as at the supermarket. I’ve yet to get any cheese as I’m always intimidated to order as I never quite know what I want and I don’t know how much one orders.

 I do hoard nuts and dried fruits from the spice vendor. One of the guys there knows me now and always makes fun of me for taking so long as I never know what I want at first. I bought a few spices last week and forgot to label them right away, so I’m sitting with either curry or turmeric in my cabinet, can’t remember which.

La Marché Bastille takes place every Sunday and Thursday. This is the most amazing place to go and do some excellent people watching. All sorts of fascinating characters come out to the markets. You can buy just about anything you would ever need – fruit, veggies, meats, fish, bread, cheese, and of course…some socks!

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Baked Apples

This past Wednesday was one of the first days in the past 13 years that NYU has had a snow day. All classes after 12:30 were called off, so although I still had to go to one class in the morning, I spent the rest of the day vegging out with my roommate as the blizzard raged on outside our window. In total, I think it snowed about 8″ but it’s hard to tell since they plow the streets so quickly here. It sometimes feels like New Yorkers are just scared of snow. Can’t they let it accumulate just a bit before they have to plow it all away? Next time it snows, I’m heading up to Central Park, so I can make snow men and go sledding 🙂

Anyway, after watching 4 episodes of GLEE in a row, I decided it was time to bake. I’ve been thinking about making baked apples for ages. I guess they’re more of a fall food, but on such a blizzardy day, they seemed like the perfect idea. I looked at a few different recipes, but kind of came up with one on my own based on the ingredient we had. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with these. They are the perfect dessert if you’re in need of something quick and don’t want to go out to the store. As long as you have some apples, it’s likely you’ll have the rest of the ingredients in your pantry. I baked mine for about an hour and they came out nice and smushy. It was the perfect companion to our movie night as my suite mates and I braved what was for some – their very first SNOW DAY!

BAKED APPLES

(Adapted by ME!)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 or 4 apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. cinammon
  • 1tsp. apple pie spice
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/3 cup orange juice

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1) Core the apples with either an apple corer or a knife. Make sure to leave about a1/4-1/2 an inch of apple at the bottom, so the brown sugar mixture doesn’t fall through

2) In a small mixing bowl, mix together all dry ingredients plus 1 tbs. melted butter.

3) Place apples in a small baking dish. Scoop heaping spoonfuls of the brown sugar mixture into center of apples, packing down until apples are full. Using remainder of butter, add a small pad of butter to the top of each apple.

4) Pour water and and juice into the baking dish around the apples. Cook until soft – about 50-65 minutes. Baste apples with liquids about half way through the baking time.

5) Enjoy 🙂