So, we had made the though decision on what to cook. Now the next step was doing some shopping at one of Paris many food markets, Marché Bastille.
When we entered the market, one of the first stalls was the fish stall and the smell of fresh fish was hanging in the air. I guess that’s why you always find the fish stalls at the beginning or end of the market, so that the smell won’t overtake thewhole market. This particular fish stall had a big boombox playing some old eurotechno tracks, giving it a nostalgic (well, nostalgic for the 90’s) energetic ambiance.
Our chef, Emelie, guided us through what to check when buying fresh fish, e.g. the eyes should be clear and if you touch it it should feel moist. She bought the fish and asked to have it gutted but not scaled. Apparently you should keep the scale on the fish when you’re doing a salt baked version to keep the moisture inside of the fish as it cooks + prevent the fish from taking too much flavor of the salt.
As I’ve never prepared a whole fish before, I’ve only cooked filets, this was a new experience for me. For the next time I now know to ask the shop keeper to help me with gutting and scaling if I need that to be done. Yay, less for me to do at home.
As we moved through the stalls we got a lot of tips and information about the different products. At the sausage stall we tried a few different sausages and the chef explained the difference in flavor, origin and creation process. And at the cheese stall we got to try some different cheese to help us understand and taste the difference between them.
I have to say that the trip to the market was probably the best part of the cooking class. It was such a great treat to be able to taste so many things and to get insight into the process behind the food. I also learned a few things about how to approach going to the market that I’m sharing in this post 5 things I learned from a french chef on shopping at a french food market.
In the next post I’ll tell you what went on at the cooking class, read about it here.