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Paris Les Halles, Perfect Food Market

Les halles de Paris. Originally dating of 12th century where it stayed for over 8 centuries until the move to Rungis on 1969. Fantastic food market place.

For many years, the Halles Market was Full of fruits and vegetables coming from vegetables producers based around Paris. Many producers arrived with their horse carriage loaded with good products. Then, several kind of productions were provided by producers based from the four corners of France ; as Breton and norman butters, provincial peaches, various and yummy cheeses…

antique scene of the halles de Paris

Daily Life at the Halles was considered as an active merchant place, a precious neighborhood life for so many people, a mutual knowledge of everybody within the community.

The well known Emile Zola depicted daily life at Les Halles in the 19th century. Rich and Poor people met daily at the Halles of Paris.

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By late 19th, merchants at the halles used to “ring the bell” : Sonner la Cloche.

French Dinner porcelain table bell
Vintage French Porcelain table bell with French mention “à table!”

but what is it about?

it has been the practice for most of merchants to ring a bell ; meaning “Sonner la cloche”. It was about to announce the beginning and the end of the sales each passing day. Many customers knew of the practice, and the neediest too. So that, the Poorest people came at the market daily, obviously at the end of sales, so right away at the sound of the bell,  in order to get some “leftover” food and various unsold goods.  Nowadays, a french Bistrot restaurant in Paris called their fine bistrot ” à la cloche des halles” in memory of the halles de Paris.

The word “Clochard”  is a derivative of Cloche (bell) pointing out the neediest.

From these past days, the Clochard or tramp was not considered or associated with marginal status, maladjustment, asociality. So as to fully understand the life and mindset of a Clochard in this time period, from early 20th here, a famous French movie named : ARCHIMEDE LE CLOCHARD is a Must to look at:). Performed by Gilles Grangier, featuring Jean GABIN, Darry COWL, Bernard BLIER, Jacqueline MAILLAN. The screen writer was Michel Audiard.  He was, he is still the  famous French satirical poet. we miss him a lot.

many scenes in the movie were shot at The Halles on 1958. this is One of my favorite French movies starring Jean GABIN. Such a clever script,  amazing and funny movie. This guy Archimède:) is a True lovely one,  well, c’était la belle époque! 😉 Indeed, the main character chose his Way of Life in society, he was a cultured person, at last but not at least, he was simply HAPPY in life …

Archimède, le clochard Year: 1959 Director: Gilles Grangier Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin the Unique
Archimède, le clochard Year: 1959 Director: Gilles Grangier Jean Gabin, Jacqueline Maillan
archimede le clochard, full movie in french version via youtube

Some time ago, most of merchants at the halles who owned a French Bistrot used to cook the famous “Soupe à l’oignon” meaning onion soup.

It was very popular, and even nowadays, many Parisian bistrots enjoy cooking onion soup at… 5 am!  they invite their merchants mates to join this particular breakfast:) just before starting the day at Les Halles, just before Ringing the bell… have a great day all!

Brown Glazed Onion soup ceramic crocks Lion head handles

Brown Glazed Onion soup stoneware crocks soupe a l'oignon mention
french stoneware onion soup bowls

Parisian onion soup Recipe is particularly cooked with thinly sliced onions, they add “pot au feu” (stew) juice prepared the day before (important note, the juice must date of the day before because it is very rich of flavors), then they add stale bread rubbed with fresh garlic, and finally grated gruyere :), at last,  the whole is poured into a vintage:) earthenware terrine for baking in the oven a few minutes.

Yep! and really Yummy!  alors, bon appétit.

That’s all for now! Thank you for reading, Sharing our blog too.

& Enjoy a perfect Day! ❤️

One thought on “Paris Les Halles, Perfect Food Market

  1. Dear Betty, I Do Appreciate so much You enjoyed this article too. Like you, I will never be able to visit Les halles, since this fabulous has been till late 60s 🙂
    According to the elder I know, Paris Les halles was just the fabulous place to live!

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