The fruit and vegetable sector at Rungis offers an explosion of colour that represents the vast array of amazing flavours to be found within.
Traditional vegetables such as parsnips and swedes are displayed alongside every possible variety of mini-vegetable, herbs alongside edible flowers such as begonia, nasturtium and other courgette flowers. A breakdown of delivery statistics also reveals growth of 17% in the ‘other vegetables’ category, taking it to an impressive 17,000 tonnes! Likewise, woodland mushrooms were also up 7% in 2016, accounting for 5,000 tonnes sold alone.
With regard to fruit, Rungis is a hotbed of exoticism, offering all types of citrus fruit, pineapples, lychees, etc. as well as, according to the statistics, an unrivalled range of ‘other’ fruits, reaching a total of 23,400 in 2016 – up 2%. It should also be noted that the dried fruits category, covering almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashew nuts, etc., performed incredibly well in 2016, with sales up 20% to 3,500 tonnes.
This diversity is also evident in the seafood pavilion, which offers multiple rare species that are not commonly consumed on a day-to-day basis, including turbot, John Dory and monkfish, crayfish and lobster, and prawns from around the world (Red Label from Madagascar or organic from Ecuador). In addition to some often unusual-looking fish, such as the cutlassfish or the conger eel, for example, you will also find a variety of prepared dishes that reflect the latest consumer trends at Rungis, including sushi and other sashimis prepared on site. Last but not least, it would not be right to talk about seafood without mentioning caviar – the ultimate in exceptional foods.
At first glance, the meat sector appears to be very traditional, with various major meat-producing breeds, fine offal, high-quality poultry, etc. on sale, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t also find a few surprises here, either. ‘New’ meats are also becoming more commonplace at the market, with sales of ostrich, bison and kangaroo achieving growth of 16% in 2016, bordering on 600 tonnes. We are also seeing products from new countries being offered for sale in France, including, for example, a number of highly-acclaimed Japanese meats such as Kobe beef, of course, and also Wagyu.
Dairy products are not to be outdone, either. One renowned French President once asked, “how can anyone be expected to run a country where there are 258 different varieties of cheese?”.
In actual fact, you will find over 1,200 different cheeses on offer at Rungis, making it “Europe’s finest cheeseboard” according to one expert. Needless to say that listing them all would be a lengthy task. The same is true of the range of delicatessen products on offer at the Market, which is increasing year on year. As the sector has grown, driven by the arrival of the gastronomy pavilion and the Halle Bio organic indoor market, it has come to offer all manner of food products, from wines and spirits, gastronomic products and organic products to currently popular niches such as vegan and gluten-free products, among others.
Here, too, Rungis Market has become a melting pot of the best aspects of regional French, European and world cuisine, from Italy to the Middle East and even including the furthest corners of Australia and the Andes.