Wednesday, January 25, 2012

GROCERY SHOPPING IN FRANCE



Besides going to the market for our fresh foods, we do frequent a supermarket close to the village for daily things. And items you can't get at the market.

Intermarché, a chain across France, is our go to place. No preference, just convenience. There are some major differences between shopping at say, Superstore, or here at this supermarket. Not going into pricing,  just obvious things such as the giant selection of UHT milk, which we really do not like, versus the three milks you can choose from fresh.... French love their milk sterilized. Very sterilized. With this Ultra heat treatment milk achieves a shelf life of up to 9 month. 
If there would be a war, or nuclear accident in the area, I`d agree with loving it. 
But heck, it just tastes not good.  Try making a Cappuccino with that kind of milk. NOT GOOD.

Wine would be another HUGE difference to Canada. You`ll get it anywhere really. In this medium sized market, 3 aisles were dedicated to wine and spirits. 
Yesterday in Bordeaux, we visited an independent bookstore similar to Chapters, guess what? A huge wine selection smack  in the middle of the books and CDs.  Sort of makes sense, since it is a wine producing country. maybe french drink wine while they read John Grisham. I don't know.

Yogurts. Massive choices. All fresh. Not UHT. Which makes it a good product. We eat much more Yogurt here, than we did in Calgary.

Deli section. Pizza no, Roasted chicken yes. A few annoying things about buying cold cuts here, they won`t slice it thin even if you beg them and some real strange habit of theirs? They don't take  off the skin. Now, who would want to eat a 1/4 inch thick Mortadella sandwich with skin on??? Peculiar.
On the very positive, staff is usually very competent and friendly. Ingredients check never a problem. I think they enjoy it actually to investigate what is in the products. Nobody else seems to ask is my impression. they always have to go and find a huge binder with all the labels in there.
Same goes for the cheese counter. You'll not only find a selection similar to that of wine, there is always a vendor who loves to tell you about their favorite choice. and which to avoid, for whatever reason.

I bought fish again today and the fishmonger made me stay away from the Vietnam fish, because who knows what's in  and what they did to that fish over there. Buy this one she said, it's similar in quality and taste and caught in Normandy. Never mind that it is double the price. Gotta love that patriotism.

Right at the entrance or exit, depends when you buy bread, is the in house bakery. I buy the occasional Pain au Chocolat, but cannot speak to the bread. I am eating Victoria's.
Bread is sold by kg pricing and bakers are a protected trade. meaning, not  everyone can snow into town and open a bakery.  except Intermarché it seems.



SIMILAR TO SUPERSTORE

IN HOUSE BAKERY

CLEARLY MARKED BREAD PRICES

UHT MILK SECTION

FRESH MILK SECTION

PLENTY OF FISH

BIG AND SMALL

SAUCISSON SEC

PATES, TERRINES

RILLETTES

WINE EVERYWHERE

ALWAYS A SALE FOR WINE

ETHNIC FOOD?

YOGURT SELECTION

GRAND SELECTION OF SPARKLING AND STILL WATER

4 comments:

Allison the Meep said...

So interesting about the milk! It's great to catch up and see how life is for you all there. I hope you are thriving.

Ken Broadhurst said...

French people have a different relationship with milk. Adults don't drink it, that's for sure. I always by the UHT skim milk and then supplement it with whole cream when I need to in cooking. I don't think it has any funny taste. Because adults don't drink it, whole fresh milk often gets wasted, just souring in the fridge. Sometimes we buy it for making ice cream or crème anglaise.

H.Peter said...

Hey Allison,

it's been a while. How is North Carolina?
Here all good.

H.Peter said...

Thanks for the info Ken, still prefer fresh.
With all the baked goods in the house, these adults drink a lot of milk. But yes, it's cultural thing then. Baffling.