After three months in culinary school, taking for granted the products that we receive every day, it was only fair to go to see where is it all coming from. Of course it’s the largest wholesale market in the world (!): Rungis. Located just outside of the city. It’s not just a market, it’s a pavilion. It’s really big. Business begins at about 2:30 AM every morning but we were settled for getting there at 4:30AM, meaning, leaving Paris at 4:00 or waking up 2:45. We walked to school and I was excited and surprisingly awake.
It was chilly and dark outside. We got these worms. They were hats. Also white disposable jackets to wear over our coats. We looked awfully ridiculous.
Fish building was first. After I’ve been to Tokyo’s Fish market, this wasn’t as impressive. We recognized many of the fish we worked with during these 3 months.
Fish that fit perfectly to the corner of the box:
For me the problem with this guided tour around the market, having to walk in a big group of 25 people, is that I couldn’t hear the guide and when something interesting was shown, 25 people jumping to see what it is and take a picture, resulting in what you can see in this picture:
In between the different sections of the market we had to take the bus as it is such a big market, everything’s much too far to walk.
The meat section, also known as the V1P room. This part was defiantly the most interesting for me. It was impressive to see the amount of carcasses hanging from the ceiling. Everything was open, out there and feelings of bewilderment overwhelmed just from being in the same space with that amount of meat around me. It was quite amazing. I tried to capture a video to transfer this feeling to you but watching it now, I suspect it’s not really passing the same atmosphere I was hoping for. Unfortunately there were some vegetarians in the crowd (pastry girls), which is usually not disturbing but I feel the goal of the guide was avoiding to scare them too much and try to move as fast as possible throw this pavilion. I felt I had to run after everyone all the time, what didn’t happen in the other sections, and I wish we were given more time in the most impressive room of this field trip. I wanted to take hundred more pictures but I just couldn’t because of the pressure to get out of there. Anyway I hope you will get the feeling from what I have.
The next room was the inside parts room:
Outside and between the pavilions there were restaurants and bars for the workers of the market. They were all eating and drinking with their white coats. Kinda surreal.
The poultry and game pavilion:
Cheese section. I had some high expectations of this section but it was almost all boxed and hidden. All the cheeses that were out there were not even French but Swiss or English.
Flowers and Christmas decorations pavilion:
Vegetables and fruit section:
Next thing was breakfast, we were starving and tired so it hit the spot. We got a cheese and croissant breakfast. I was hoping for steak and fries like all the local market people but the cheese was also pretty good.
Was so hard to stand up after all this.