Grocery stores

I noticed as I was at the ubiquitous Monoprix (Franprix and Auchon are about the same except Auchon is MUCH bigger) that there are some interesting differences between French and Canadian grocery stores.  Aside from the obvious stuff, I mean.  For example,  there was one kind of BBQ sauce and four ROWS of mustard.  These people are serious about their mustard.  I guess like Alberta beef eaters are about their BBQ sauce!

They have tons of cold desserts that are individually portioned.  There’s a jillion kinds of yoghurt, mousses, crèmes, custards, puddings, etc.  I mean there is a lot!  Way more variety than we have – but very little in “family” size.  And the yoghurt – there is a lot of yoghurt in Paris.  And Activia has different flavours here than back home.  There’s coconut and mango (actually almost everything comes mango flavoured here – mango is very popular in Paris) and fig, grapefruit, pistachio,  and a bunch of others.  Yummo!

They don’t refrigerate the eggs.  Ever.  I’m sure it’s fine but I still put mine in the fridge when I get home.

The milk – all milk is sold warm.  At first I thought it was all powdered stuff but it’s not.  It’s milk.  I also put it in the fridge as soon as I get home. Update: Apparently the milk is sterilized.  Ew.  There is some milk that’s sold in plastic bottles (thick plastic like bleach bottles) that isn’t sterilized but it’s tough to come by.

There is bread all over the store.  There is the wee boucherie as soon as you get in the store, bread by the wine, bread in the meat section, the fish section, the cheese section.  Then there is the bread section where there is two aisles (the store is not even half as big as a grocery store at home) of breads.  Dried breads, whole wheat breads, American bread (that what they label white bread as) and brioche. Damn brioche is good. 

While there is a plethora of bread, there is almost no salad dressings.  I’m guessing they generally make their own.  There are a jillion kinds of olive oil and vinegars (also very serious business here – actually food is serious business here) but I could only find about five different kinds of salad dressing – one was balsamic vinegar and olive oil, an Italian (creamy), an herb and garlic one (that’s what I got), and two I can’t remember now.

Along with the individual portioned desserts, they have individual portioned everything!  The Boursin cheese I adore comes in mini-packets – about the size of a pat of butter.  Parfait!

Oh and this one got me!  Chips that were cheeseburger and pepperoni pizza flavoured!  Ewww!



Filed under travel

5 responses to “Grocery stores

  1. Mom

    obviously, the French are more accepting than Americans as to the number of people you want to feed. I am sure that families know exactly where to shop to buy larger items but as so many Eurpoeans shop every day, lots of smaller stuff is de rigeur! Which is how it should be I think. My last retirement (I think of it now with great nostalgia) I shopped almost every day! I miss this – it was easier although I’m positive more expensive!! Anyway, enjoy this while you can, soon you’ll be buying larger sizes and either throwing some away or eating more than you really want to – can’t win for losing.

  2. jessica

    So happy that you love the food. I think we spent more time eating than doing anything else in Paris. Do you like smoked salmon? They have a ton of different types at monoprix that we can’t get at home. Drink some cider as well as you also can’t get the same types of french ciders at home either. My favorite at monoprix was picking up blintzes, creme freche and smoked salmon. Sigh… 🙂 Happy eating, and a drooly kiss from the munchkin. 🙂

  3. This totally makes sense to me. I get so frustrated shopping for just Mark and I and everything being ‘family’ size here. I also hate it when people tell me to go to Costco, because ‘they have such great deals’ and I say the portions are too big, and then they say, ‘well just cut it up and freeze it individually’. Like, of course, I have all that time in the world. Besides have you to been to a Costco on the weekend? Those prices aren’t low enough.

    We have actually moved to buying our groceries weekly. I know for many people it makes sense to hit 10% Tuesday and stock up for the month, but we just don’t eat like that with just two of us. So the French way makes a lot of sense to me.

  4. I agree, Heidi. Also, until recently, I had a freezer the size of a shoebox. Literally. Even with a larger freezer – how long do I really want that stuff in there? And for dry goods – I don’t have the cupboard space. Since living accomodations are much smaller in Paris, I’m guessing this is part of the reason too.
    I used to stock up on the essentials on 10% Tuesday – TP, cleaning supplies etc. but frankly, it just isn’t worth the line-ups anymore! I like to hit the grocery store late Sunday night – no one is there!

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