Have you ever been surrounded by pure freshness? Today the TAIWSP group visited the National Rungis market which is the principal market of Paris, mainly for food and horticultural products, located in the commune of Rungis, in the southern suburbs. It is the largest wholesale food market in the world.
The market is the property of the French State and administered by the Semmaris. Wholesalers are plentiful and the competition is strong. The market starts at 1am and ends around 11am. Clients are professionals, distributors and restaurants. Veterinary, phytosanitary controls and property checkouts are omnipresent.
The journey to the market began by heading out at 3:45am sharp. Despite the desire of wanting to rest for just a bit longer, we knew that what we were going to experience was going to be worth the time. At arrival, we were given white hair nets and white jackets for sanitation purposes. We then headed to the fish market, which in my opinion was the biggest section. There is a wide variety of fishes coming from the Middle East, Pacific Ocean, and local farms. Some of these varieties included Monk Fish, Sea Bass, etc.
Following, we visited the “Meat” section of the market; which consisted of whole cows, lams, pigs, etc. In this section we had the opportunity to see products that have been organically fed and the difference it has on the quality of the product. For example, there is lamb that was only fed milk in comparison to lamb that was fed grass. These components overall not only impact the quality of the product but also the price.
After the meat market, we visited the fromage (cheese) section. When entering, the smell of mold was very overpowering. It was one consistent smell throughout the entire market. There were mild to very strong selection of cheeses.
This was one of my favorite section of the market. The floral scent was quite strong, but as soon as we entered the market we were surrounded by many different varieties of roses and flowers which were very calming and refreshing.
Lastly we visited the fruits and vegetables section. There were many different selection of fruits from the same specie allowing the buyers to explore what seller suits the need best.
Overall this was a very unique experience considering that in New York we do not have the opportunity to go to such a big market.