Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grocery List

No dryer sheets or lemon yogurt in Franprix. No type 55 flour or printer/copier paper in Casino, thus requiring a trip to Monoprix, also the only place in the neighborhood that stocks the Poilâne rye with raisins. No Rice Krispies anywhere except Auchan, 25 minutes on the metro and a hike through a huge shopping mall away. No vacuum cleaner bags without a separate visit to the droguerie. And I still have to get bread, go to Picard, and find a replacement bulb for the chandelier in the dining room.

Grocery shopping used to be so easy. One trip to Safeway once a week and I was done. Pick up the dry cleaning, you say? Maybe I'll have time tomorrow.

12 comments:

Joy said...

We go to five different stores in four different towns around here. That doesn't include trips to the pharmacie. I feel your pain... ;)

Nathalie said...

But this sounds average enough to me as a Frenchwoman! Of course you will not find everything in one shop - it is why there is variety and specialising and competition, and why special small shops survive - is it so different in the US? Is it really that you would do it all in one supermarket trip? What about good bread and patisserie, or well-stored cheese or meat?

debbie in toronto said...

oh to have the time to wander from store to store...but life in north american sadly doesn't move at the pace that French life does.

I loved Monoprix ...the familiar and the new....all in one place just like at home...PLUS the choice to go to the smaller stores...genius

Eva said...

It's not just French life, though, and I don't think it's a matter of pace, it's a matter of priorities. I'm a Londoner, and, like a lot of people, even in a big, fast, aggressively-paced city (and although I live close to a big supermarket) I do the majority of my food shopping at Borough Market on Saturday mornings, which involves taking a journey halfway across town on the tube and carrying bags of produce home the same way.

But we do it for the freshness and the quality, and good selections of artisan cheeses, proper bread and humanely-produced meat, which are worth the time and bother for large numbers of Londoners from all over.

I'm really suffering now that I'm living in the Middle East where I'm entirely reliant on a big supermarket for the first time in years - actually, since I was living in the US. Certainly, it's quicker and more convenient, but such an impoverished way to buy food, and the quality - and advice from the producers etc - can't compare.

MJ said...

Oh, I hear ya. Grocery shopping in Paris is the bane of my existence. Takes days to cross everything off the list.

I have a blog, too, and half its entries are me obsessing over grocery dynamics. Probably sounds like a broken record to friends and family back home.

Cheers!

Deirdre said...

Here is California I go to Ralph's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, sometimes the farmers' market and the drugstore. I space it out during the week because I can't face it all in one day.

Starman said...

But isn't that the joy of living in Europe?

jonnifer said...

I hear ya!

And what do those different types of flours mean??

Shelli and Gene said...

I found that back in the US I went to the suoermarket for some things, Trader Joe's for others, the greengrocer, fish market and cheese shop (all near each other) for their things, and occasionally to the butcher. Not all that different from here in fact.

What made it seem easier than here was that I used the car to do it all in one day on a long loop of a trip. Here it's on foot or on the bus and carrying it all in your hands or pulling the loaded market caddy makes it more of a chore, I think. Bagging purchases yourself is also more work.

Of course I've got nothing but time so I don't mind. Having a busy working and/or family life would be a different story, I'm sure.

Shelli

AC in Paris said...

Absolutely agree. Plus there doesn't seem to be any logic. Why wouldn't the same place that carries things as "exotic" as mascarpone and ricotta (Franprix or Monoprix) also carry pecans (Champion)?

Jesse said...

You make living in Paris sound so miserable. I live here, and I love it! I love spending the time to go from shop to shop because I know the quality of food will be much better than something I would get in the US. It's part of the French culture! Embrace it. Have patience and enjoy the experience.

Anne said...

Jesse: If you bother to read my other posts, you will learn that I love(d) living in Paris. But like any place, the experience had its ups and downs. Going to different little shops for copier paper and lemon yogurt and vacuum cleaner bags did not exactly fill me with joy.

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