I love the French grocery

July 26, 2013

Many people might dream about all the foie gras and countless cream-based dishes they will consume when they go to France, but my new love of French eating is a lot simpler: the grocery store. The last couple of weeks driving across France had me convinced that we should be making a run for the border to do our grocery shopping on a regular basis.

Being on a road trip with some definite budgetary restrictions (I know Berlin, we're coming!), not to mention contending with my major headaches nine of the eleven days we were gone, grabbing snacks and light fare at the groceries seemed like the way to go. Not expecting more than decent 'grocery food', we were blown away by both the assortment and the quality that exists at the average Carrefour. Everything we tasted was delicious and even the processed stuff had some of the shortest ingredient lists I'd ever seen. Perhaps some of it was the novelty of being in another country with different tastes, but I truly believe the French might be at the top of the world's grocery quality.

Yogurt (and custards and all assortments of creamy desserts) didn't come in cheap, colorful plastic, they came in glass bowls and painted crockery. The pre-made salads were far and away better than just about anything I've had in German restaurants. And that mint tabbouleh above? Might be my new favorite thing. Lest you think it was all high-end stuff, we developed a serious crush on what can only be called French Cheetos. Albeit, they did come in flavors like French (read: stinky) cheese or goat's cheese and pepper. It seems even the junk food is swanky.

The pièce de résistance for me was one of the best ice cream bars I've ever eaten. Frankly, I was stunned that I had yet to see this from the Magnum assortment in our country, as Germans have a serious love affair with all things apple. Oh, but it was so much more than just apple, with pieces of spiced cookie and cinnamon-speckled white chocolate coating... Even if all this doesn't sound high brow enough to satiate ones desire for more rich French flavors, not to worry. Cans of pâté and the like are abundant as well - even in the gas station shops.

Until next time, France, I will be dreaming of your grocery aisles...