How do you like them apples?
Whether you like them sweet or sour, raw or baked, apples bring happiness to young and old gourmands in search of crispness! Even though Golden, Gala, and Granny Smith are the most common apples in the Parisian markets, there are some 400 varieties commonly sold in France. Green, yellow, pink or red, the apple is an inspiring fruit, which has recently brought success to Christelle Brua, chosen best pastry chef in the world thanks to an apple made of puffed sugar and topped with ice cream, cider and sparkling sugar. It's a must-taste sweet at Pré Catelan after a trip to the market!
Carrots, beets and turnips are well known, but edible roots are actually much more numerous! True lovers of the taste of these veggies will enjoy the delicate aroma of Jerusalem artichoke, a wonderful vegetable best eaten as a purée or simply cooked with butter, as well as parsnips, which are particularly savory in a cream soup. These somewhat forgotten vegetables are making a comeback, currently very popular in Parisian markets and beloved lunch spots that feature old roots in their dishes. It is a typical product of the autumn season that deserves to be known—and tasted sur place!
Sometimes crooked, sometimes bumpy, but always plump with flavor, squash take over the Parisian markets with their flamboyant colors. In their original shapes, they are as beautiful as they are tasty and form magnificent autumn decorations in the gardens across France. From traditional pumpkins to spaghetti squash, butternut squash and red kuri squash, these are all varieties that make up the great gourd family. Au gratin or in a cream soup, squash are the allies of a warm and tasty autumn. Be sure to pick up this jewel at the markets this season!
A sometimes little-known fact, on a cheese platter as well as in the kitchen, the choice of products is dictated by the seasons. One of the stars of autumn that can be found on the Parisian markets is definitely the Abondance cheese, this AOP (Protected Appellation of Origin) made in the Alps, currently enjoyed with the wines made last summer. This intensively fruity cheese can be enjoyed grated to spice up a gratin or simply diced to brighten up a typical meal. There are also blue (or blue vein) cheese of this type, which are at their height during this season. Coincidentally, their powerful aromas blend perfectly with the sweetness of pears, pumpkins and figs—all autumn products par excellence!
Shellfish and crustaceans
The fall marks the return of seashells to the stalls of Parisian markets. Once again, we can enjoy mussels, oysters and all manner of other shellfish. But the real star of the moment is the scallop, the fishing of which is highly regulated and takes place from October to April. This fine, delicate product has a brief stay in the market stalls to be quickly found in the most gourmet dishes and on the best tables in Paris! Carpaccio, in sauce or just seared, scallops are full of vitamins and omega-3. They're the perfect food to face the autumn!
What an amazing vegetable the mushroom is, able to grow without air or light! The famous mushroom of Paris, with its white and silky dress, invades the Parisian markets next to the chanterelle, the boletus mushroom, the oyster mushroom and the morel. Some of those found in the organic market stalls come from La Caverne, an urban farm located in the underground spaces of Paris. Mushrooms are an ideal autumn product for locavores in Paris!
Get that cabbage!
Green cabbage, white cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, romanesco cabbage—the list is long and the flavors abundant for this essential autumn food! After the summer, they make their grand return to the Parisian stalls for the pleasure of the true gourmands who cook them every chance they have! Au gratin, stir-fried, stuffed or puréed, impossible to get tired with such abundance in texture and flavors! The greatest chefs in France, like Frédéric Anton at Jules Vernes in Paris, have also embraced this generous food—there is no excuse to deprive yourself of it this fall!
Great comfort in the face of the coming fall: the grand return of hazelnuts to the market stalls of Paris! Apart from their truly French taste, these delicious nuts are packed with vitamins. They're ideal for snacking or in the creations of the great pastry chefs. Yann Couvreur enhances them in his "Bûche aux merveilles," and Pierre Hermé delights us with his "Infinitely praline-hazelnut cake." Enjoy a little sweetness in your autumn in Paris this year!