Did you know that the Marché International de Rungis (Rungis Internaional Market) is the largest wholesale food market in the world? And that in order to visit, you're required to make an appointment or have some contacts within? And visiting hours start at something like 5am?
Well, once I heard about it at school, I knew I wanted to go and take a look... but unfortunately school couldn't organize a trip. Because of its location deep in the suburbs of Paris and the fact that it was only open to professionals (or something along those lines... appointment was required, at the least), I realized I'd have to forego this experience until next time... next time, meaning my internship at Plaza!
Some of the chefs organized the trip, which began with all of us meeting down at the lab at 01h00! We took 2 taxis and though we got there by 1h30, we didn't start the tour until about 02h00. It was pretty cold, but I think my multiple layers, sweatshirt, down vest, and jacket helped... not to mention my wool tights, leggings, long underwear, and 2 pairs of thick socks.
We started with the fish market:
this is where they sorted out/fileted the fish for restaurants
cannot believe these guys start around 10pm... see how many layers they're wearing? It was freezing!
look how big this flounder is!
The dudes on the field trip... apparently the flounder was quite the attraction. Don't you love our plastic gowns?
What's in the box??
We actually had to drive to this "wholesale" part of the fish market!
better stay away from this one!
We then headed over to the flower market:
And then drove over to the fruits/veggies market, where they packaged orders for hotels/restaurants/etc:
trucks getting packed up to make deliveries
05h00: all the orders organized according to destination
06h00: the same room, an hour later. All the orders packed in the trucks ready to head to their destinations
the rooms for storing the produce were a lot more bare than I had imagined... this was the tomato room, as you can tell from the large photo on the wall
we then headed to the apple room
the dudettes from lab... yup, there are only 3 of us!
Then we moved on over to the veggies market:
The time's posted, just as a reminder of how early it still is.
We got back to Plaza around 07h00, and while I didn't have to work that morning, unfortunately 7 of the 10 of us had to change into their uniforms and face a full day in the lab... don't know how they did it!