But what I'd like to talk to you about today is my visit to Rungis, the largest wholesale market in the world. There are gigantic fish markets in Japan, China, San Francisco, etc., etc., but this one has it all. It's located about 20km from the center of Paris, and is basically it's own city, covering 232 hectares and selling over 7 billion euros of products per year. That's a lot of fish, poultry, cheese, vegetables, fruits, flowers, and meat. Oh, so much of it.
Le Cordon Bleu organized a visit for us students, and we were awestruck by the magnitude of the place. We were also impressed by the high quality of the products and how pristine it all is. Not a fly in sight, not a thing out of place.
|veal that only drank mom's milk|
|2 weeks old|
|piles of cheese (there are over 3000 different kinds of cheese)|
|uchuas from colombia|
|piles of mushrooms|
|piles of pink garlic from toulouse|
20,000 trucks go in and out of Rungis every day. I knew the French liked their fresh food, but this visit made me appreciate what it takes to be one of the world's most famous culinary capitals.
Butchers, smaller Parisian market vendors, and chefs come to Rungis to select their products. It's not only about stocking up, however, it's about discovering new items to add to your menu. Kiwi, for example, was introduced to France at Rungis a few years back. A few chefs tried some of this exotic fruit, thought of ways to incorporate it into French cuisine and pastries, and is now a staple product in France. Rungis is a microcosm of the world's best products, and the French are masters of knowing how to create delicious dishes with them.