Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Parisian Grocery Cart--Part 1

As I was looking back on my blog, I realized that I hadn't ever described what my grocery cart contains each week. I though you might find it interesting, so here is a little photo journal of what we buy and how we buy it!

Each week, I go to approximately 4 stores in order to everything I need. One is a discount shop similar to Aldi. The others are two grocery chains, and I go to each in order to find things that I can't at the other. I also shop weekly at our corner fruit and vegetable market (which has the most amazing pears right now).

This is our grocery caddy. The stores have grocery carts to shop with, and it is fine to park this at the entrance before you being your shopping. The other option is to take this in with you and use it as the cart. What we do varies from store to store.

Milk is usually sold a little differently in France. There is milk that you can buy cold and milk that you can buy off the shelf at room temperature. The milk you can buy cold taste like any milk in the US. However, the milk on the shelf has a different twang to it. Personally, it has been hard for me to get used to. We almost always buy the milk on the shelf. Why?...because it's much cheaper! This is our favorite brand of milk. It is the organic, half-cream, store-brand milk. And, yes, I said half-cream. You can get milk two ways here, half-cream and full-cream!

In other countries, you learn very quickly what can be substituted for ingredients. One of those substitutions for us has been using crème fraiche instead of sour cream. I now love crème fraiche! It's a little thicker, and the taste isn't quite as sharp as sour cream.

We have yet to see a white egg in France, and they are not sold in the refrigerated section.

This is the brand of yogurt we buy. France has the most amazing selection of yogurts. Their whole milk yogurts are great, but we only buy those for special treats.

We eat a lot of oatmeal in our house. Thankfully it is cheap and easy to find. In our grocery store we have found two brands to choose from. There are no individual, microwaveable packets with fake flavorings. Just plan, healthy boxes of oatmeal!

One thing that I did not realize before moving to France was that dijon mustard is the only mustard you can find. Occasionally our discount store will sell "American mustard". However, we have gotten used to the taste, and it is great to cook with! This brand comes in a cup with cartoon characters on it. After is is used, we will wash it and use it as a cup for Claire or Matthew. They love getting those new cups every couple of months.

The next two pictures are of some wonderful "for special times" treats we have discovered in France.

This is Speculoos. It is made from the cookie of the same name, and it is wonderful! For taste comparison, it is like taking graham crackers and mixing them into a peanut butter like consistency. Some love it and some don't, but we love it (occasionally)!

And this is my new, favorite chocolate flavor. It is cranberry/almond dark chocolate. Amazing!

This post could go on forever, so I will split it into two or three different parts. Hope you enjoyed seeing inside our grocery bag! Let me know if there are any French grocery curiosities that you might have.

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