10 Insider Rules for Navigating a French Farmers Market — The Kitchn Abroad

As I push my way through the market — dodging baby strollers and impossibly sharp metal shopping caddies; pressing through the crowd toward my preferred fruit and vegetable stall like a salmon swimming upstream; observing the guy next to me manhandle the lettuce that will soon be selected to go into my basket; seeing the utter delight, appreciation, and surprise light up the face of the elderly woman who was offered to move ahead in line by a gracious fellow shopper — I realize that a French marketplace is a microcosm.

It's a reflection of French society as a whole, with its own codes and rules of behavior — a market etiquette, if you will — that are known and understood only by those who have grown up living the experience.

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