The largest wholesale food market in the world is the Rungis International Market, about a half hour outside of Paris. The city’s top chefs, restaurants, hotels, grocers, and smaller food markets get fresh meat, fish, produce, and other perishables there every day. The market covers 573 acres and 11,000 people work there. Author Cody Delistraty takes us on a tour of the facility, which is not open to the general public. First, the fish processing building, then the butcher area.
Then to the cheese warehouse, where giant wheels of Gruyère and Emmental are stacked atop one another to entice restaurant buyers; followed by the vegetables warehouse, where leeks and ginger and asparagus and kale sit in wooden boxes littered throughout the room; and then, finally, to the flowers warehouse, where asters and callas and carnations and dahlias and hyacinths and peonies and poinsettias burst with reds and pinks and blues and purples in a wonderful display.
It’s only after seeing all of the warehouses that you realize the immense power that Rungis holds over the French food industry.