Friday, 1 April 2011

At Marché des Enfants Rouges...for Some Moroccan Food

Markets in Paris have quite a history. This particular one, Marché des Enfants Rouges on rue de Bretagne, was the first covered market in Paris and was built in 1615 under the reign of King Louis XIII, for a newly established neighborhood - Le Marais
When looking for this place, do remember that you can only get here through this gate and another one on the other side. You can easily miss this entrance if you are not minding where you are passing.

What's with the name of this place? There was a nearby orphanage that was established by Marguerite de Navarre - where the children wore red coats, that was closed in 1534. In memory of the orphaned children, the residents started referring to the the market as the Marché des Enfants Rouges (Market of Red Children). It was ceded to the city of Paris in 1912 and declared a historical monument in 1982.

That was more than 500 years ago, and it is still here! It continues to be a popular market - a center of much activity from Tuesday to Sunday, where the local residents and others come to get their supplies from the green grocers, the vintners, poissonerie, fromagerie, boulangerie and the florists.

The market gets unusually crowded from noontime to 2:00 p.m. when the locals and the tourists stop by for some of the best tasting food. There are several restaurants and caterers who have set-up shop, offering international gourmet menus. You can pick and choose - Japanese, Italian, African, Moroccan and more. I am here with my friend to have some Moroccan delicacies!
Here, the meals can be ordered to go (à emporter) or served on site (sur place). Looking at this menu, there is a variety of good ones to choose from.
 For dessert, we will be having a piece, each, of these two from their Sélection de Patisserie Marocaine.
 Orders are served on a clay plate.

Here is how the Tagine slection looks like:
Lamb Tagine with prunes, apricots, raisins, almonds, semolina and vegetables 
Chicken Tagine with olives, lemon, semolina and vegetables 
 Tajine Kefta (ground beef) with eggs, onions, tomatoes

I have tried them all. For today, we went for the Tajine d'Agneau!
Traiteur Marocain is one of the places I go to for good Moroccan food. A "traiteur" is a place that serves prepared food. Unlike in a fast food, the food is brought to your table when you decide to dine sur place.

I thought to peruse a Lamb Tagine recipe and it looked like a bit of work.  I have not made it but it will definitely take some time, 2 1/2 hours. For a big group, it is worth the effort. For one or two people, I think it would be more economical to eat at the traiteur rather than to buy all the ingredients.

At the Traiteur Morocain, what can I say about their Tagine creations? Tout simplement délicieux!

If you have some extra time to spare, visit some of the stores along the sides, in the interior of the market. There is a shop that sells old, old pictures - here I got a glimpse of the olden days. Just look in and you may find something you like, in the other stores, too. Make your visit here a part of your walking tour of  Haut Marais!

Le Marché des Enfant Rouge
39 rue de Bretagne Paris 3e
Hours of operation:
Tuesday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.; 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.; 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: 8:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

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