Rungis: Food Tripping
On April 9, I crawled out of my bed at a very ungodly hour. Three in the freakin’ morning, when the whole of Paris is either fast asleep, or still partying. For people my age, it would be the former. But I woke up (thanks to two alarm clocks set!), took a wake-up shower, downed two cups of coffee, and jumped into a taxi I hired for a 4:15AM pick up.
Along with a few other mothers from ISP, I joined a tour to Rungis, the world’s largest wholesale market for fresh produce. This was where the old and famous “Les Halles” was relocated. Officially opened in 1969, spanning 600 hectares of land, strategically located close to Orly Airport (7 kilometers from Paris), and at the intersection of France’s railway system. This is where the restauranteurs, hoteliers, and gastronomic gods purchase their goods. So while the rest of Paris is either sleeping or partying — there is hard-core work going on in Rungis, where the action begins at 12 midnight, and ends at 6AM.
The tour was totally amazing. The whole area was almost like a town in itself — with buildings dedicated to each produce. In fact, we had to take the bus to move from one to the other: Seafood, Game, Fruits, Vegetables, Cheese & Dairy, Flowers. Truly a feast for a chef — and for me, a feast for my very hungry eyes. Fortunately, the tour ended with a yummy breakfast at 9:30AM — which then allowed me to go back to my bed after, to dream about all the insatiable things France can offer. To me, and to the rest of the world.
The Rungis Tour reminded me of two things: (1) That I was indeed lucky to be here in the Food Capital of the World; and, (2) That my French still sucks big-time, I understood only about a quarter of what the French tour guide was rapping.
Sharing with you snipets of the trip. Watch out for the skinned rabbits (lapin) and Miss Piggy peeping from out of the box. 🙂 Salivate at the foie gras, the agneau de lait, and the sumptuous cuts of beef. Probably a must-watch for those who need that extra push to turn vegetarian.
Rungis Tour Operator: (in French only)Tangram Voyages 2, Les Grands-Champs 54330 Saxon-Sion Tel: 0892 700 119 E-Mail: Tangramfirstname.lastname@example.org