The way of all flesh is on display in Paris…


…the butchers here aren’t shy about what they’re doing – they’re proud of it. You’ll find publicly displayed documents showing for example where the cattle for your barbecue comes from, who the farmer was, what race he bred and nourished for you. In the background of the butcher shops you’ll have people happily working huge pieces of beef or pork and the chicken you order will come with its head, its feet and some feathers just to remind you that this food was alive once – before it died for you and your culinary pleasures.

In the covered part of the Marché Aligre there’s a poultry and rare meat parts specialist I very much like and quite often visit. See the picture of his counter, I really think this is how a butcher’s shop should look: it offers a visual of the full circle from the (stuffed) alive to the slaughtered beast and in the back (on the right hand side) it’s already roasting. It’s beautiful: you can still grasp the meaning of the expression food chain, whereas our modern supermarkets only work on hiding and forging it. What a difference.

Food chain from a to z: a butcher's shop at Marché Aligre.

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