here are two spice
and herb vendors at the marché. My favorite has at least 100 burlap bags
brimming with colorful herbs and spices tucked around the base of a plane tree. It's a
tempting display and a place to stock up for the season.
Most items are sold in quantities of a deci-litre or double deci-litre which are small enough to pack easily into a suitcase to take home. I find everything here very tempting, but I try to restrict what I buy to things that aren't readily available in the U.S such as "ras el hanout", a blend of over 25 spices used to flavor couscous, and "rouille", a piquant red pepper powder that's used to flavor an aïoli for bouillabaisse.
Each year I stock up on bottes of saffron to use as hostess presents during the year and also to use liberally in bouillabaisse and risottos. While prices have risen steadily over the years (now up to FF 15 - $3.00), this saffron is still an incredible bargain compared to prices in the U.S. and it's reliably good quality.