A taste of the Yonne

Farmers from Burgundy hold their 26th annual market in the Gambetta neighborhood

The place Edith Piaf is unusually lively this Sunday, October 13. Some 27 producers from the Yonne department have set up shop under a beautiful autumn sun for the annual “Dimanche des Terres de France” market in the 20th arrondissement.

“We come from the Yonne. So we have wine, snails, vegetable and animal products, honey, cheese, bread with local flours…” says a representative of the Yonne’s departamental federation of farmers (FDSEA). He explains that the market began 26 years ago, and that each arrondissement had its own market associated with a different departement’s FDSEA. Today, the 20th’s Yonne market is the only survivor.

dimanche des Terres de France
Dimanche des Terres de France market on the place Edith Piaf

“It’s an absolutely magical event, a win-win partnership for our producers and Parisians,” says the FDSEA representative. Usually held on the rue de la Chine, the market was displaced to the place Edith Piaf this year due to a “vide-grenier sale”. The change is good: the conviviality of the place and the unexpected sun add more magic to the day.

“It’s more market-like,” says Madame Gherardi. Sun or rain, these producers keep coming back, 10, 15 or, like the Gherardis, “a good 20 years” later. Vignerons between Chablis and Auxerre, the Gerhardis return for the warm welcome and direct contact with consumers, Madame says.

Many of the inhabitants are regulars, too. One of the Gherardi’s clients says he has “always come”. He waxes reminiscent of his childhood vacations in Burgundy before settling on a bottle of Crémant de Bourgogne.

A source of nostalgia for some, an occasion for dialogue and discovery for others. The market is also a chance to buy the year’s last tomatoes and first squash, or to learn how colza oil is produced or, at the Banque Alimentaire stand, how to reduce food waste. Children and dogs stop to watch the geese, chickens and rabbits. Others snack on gougères, ice cream or snails.

The event has become such a success, the FDSEA and its producers are considering making the trip to the capital more often; maybe in spring, for cherry season.

escargots et Chablis