Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pan Asian in Paris

So back to my obsession with grocery shopping and all things culinary. Today's adventure was a long subway ride across town to Tang Frères, the giant Asian supermarket. This store has lots of satellites throughout the 13th arrondissement but I made a beeline for the mother ship on Avenue d'Ivry. I walked past the smelly durians, the huge bags of rice, and the endless shelves of blue crockery, choosing instead to fill my grocery caddy with well-priced chicken and shrimp, soy and chicken tikka sauces (priced at about one quarter of what they cost in my neighborhood), and some old familiar favorites not easily found in Paris: iceberg lettuce and thin scallions. I threw in some dried seaweed packets that one of my kids enjoys for snack but couldn't find room in my cart for rice stick noodles, sambal oelek, champagne mangos, asian pears, or Thai basil. I did manage to find space for a lunch of bánh mì, perhaps the most delicious legacy of French colonialism: a Vietnamese sandwich of Asian treats (pickled vegetables, spicy peppers and sliced meat) stuffed inside a crusty baguette.

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