MARCHE EDGAR QUINET IS AN OPEN MARKET IN THE 14TH ARRONDISSEMENT:
Montparnasse is a district that we didn’t managed to visit during our previous visits to Paris. With so much to see and do in the centre of Paris, Montparnasse often gets bypassed. But on this trip we had a special reason to come to Montparnasse, the Marché Edgar Quinet.
The Marché Edgar Quinet is a fairly large open market operating along the median strip of the Boulevard Edgar Quinet. As Tony took off to do his video of the market, I had time to check out the stalls at leisure.
The food market section of Marché Edgar Quinet has stalls selling flowers and all types of fruits and vegetables that you’d typically see in a market. Asparagus was in season and so there were plenty of bunches of green and white asparagus for sale. They were really cheap, compared to what we’d have to pay for back home.
At the olives and nuts stall, the crafty vendor hands out little samples of his goodies to entice shoppers. He didn’t have to twist my arm too hard and I was quickly tempted into buying some candied fruits and some snap-dried vegetable chips. The vegetable chips were not cheap, but they were really delicious.
Other stalls had Turkish bread, cured meats, lots of yummy cheeses and fresh meats and seafood. Although I wasn’t planning on buying any seafood, I enjoyed trying to find out what the different fishes were and their French names.
Things You Learn at the Market
Sometimes you pick up interesting bits of information at the markets and the lesson for me today was the Moules de Bouchot. Yes they looked like ordinary mussels, but Moules de Bouchot are cultivated differently. They are grown vertically on wooden piles in the sea along the Atlantic coast of France. I’ve seen these wooden poles in the sea before and thought that they were for lobster pots. And another interesting bit of trivia that I picked up was that it was an Irish traveller who invented this method of mussel cultivation. Having been shipwrecked in the Baie de l’aiguillon in 1235, the Irishman discovered by accident that mussels would breed on the stakes that he had put in the sea to hold his nets.
Back to the market – the smartly dressed young man selling roast chicken was doing a roaring trade and the roast potatoes looked quite inviting, but unfortunately were not yet cooked.
Exploring the Marché Edgar Quinet: a Video Tour
Other Goods at the Market
Marché Edgar Quinet is not just a food market – there were stalls selling pots and pans and other kitchen aids. There were also a large number of stalls selling ladies underwear, clothing, scarves, belts, jewelry, bags and other bric-a-brac. While I was too busy obsessing on the food, I did miss some of these stalls but luckily Tony was more disciplined and you’ll be able to see his coverage of the market in his Marché Edgar Quinet video.
If you like visiting Paris markets, Marché Edgar Quinet is another colourful market to check out. The market is held every Saturday and Wednesday and you do need to get there early.
Our first attempt at visiting the market was a failure as we arrived in time to see it in the process of being shut down. Although the tourist information site indicates opening times of 7 am to 3 pm, we noticed on our next attempt that some stalls were already beginning to pack up at 1:30 pm.
Opening Times: 07:00 to 15:00 (?)
Marché Edgar Quinet
Boulevard Edgar Quinet
How to Get There:
Metro – Edgar Quinet (Line 6) is right at the market
Metro – Montparnasse Bienvenue (Lines 4, 6, 12 and 13) is about 5 minutes walk to the market.