There were a plethora of Chinese traiteurs all over Paris, mostly run by Chinese immigrants from Wenzhou. Unlike Panda Express in the U.S., these Chinese fast-food joints display cold prepared dishes and price by weight. Then you can opt to have them heat your box of food in the microwave. It doesn't sound appetizing, but I admit that I've visited these traiteurs a few times when I'm too lazy to transfer 3 times on the metro to go to Chinatown. Many of these Chinese traiteurs offer Vietnamese fare, like rice noodles topped with beef balls and Vietnamese egg rolls. My favorite item from any Chinese traiteur is the brochette de poulet. Though, far from Taiwanese, it's super tasty and brings back memories of street food in Taiwan in the middle of Paris. An interesting thing I observed in Paris is that you will be hard-pressed to find Taiwan-imported food products. I couldn't find any Taiwanese soy sauce and other condiments, which I'm used to getting in the states, and thus I bought my first bottle of China-made soy sauce in Paris. I apologize for going on about Chinese traiteurs without actually having photos to share! Reember, I was in Paris before I cared about writing about food.
But I did take pictures of some other prepared foods from French traiteurs. I first noticed prepared foods at my local fish monger's. I wanted to get some pieces of cod, and I kept eyeing at the beautiful stained-glass looking seafood terrines against the wall and vowed to buy one everytime I came to the market on rue Cler (Here's also another list of stores on rue Cler). A slice of seafood terrine with a piece of fresh bread and a small plate of salad make a delicious lunch.
Davoli-Masion du Jambon sausages; Trio of head cheese
Like with many places where I've previously lived, I always end up regretting not visiting more places and trying more things. Here are a few more photos of prepared foods I ate, and yes, I definitely wish I were wise enough to have explored more traiteurs. When my mom came to visit me, I planned on buying some amazing traiteur foods for a picnic on the Champ de Mars (just a couple blocks away from my place), but alas that never happened because I was "too busy." Next time, to hell with what I think I need to do; I'm going to stop and smell the roses! Mom and I did manage to have an impromptu picnic at the end of the Mouffetard market in the 5th arrondissement munching on crab meat potato salad and terrines and drinking from a bottle of rose flavored sparkling water while sitting on the curb of a pedestrian street. Yeah, not very refined of us, but we were hungry, we couldn't resist the crab salad that would surely spoil by the time we arrive back to the 7th arrondissement, other people were sitting on the curb listening to a band play in the streets, and it was a gorgeous spring day in Paris.