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!
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!