The supermarket may have been small but I was in there a good hour….or two. With no shopping list, no sense of what I wanted to eat for the next week and a poor appreciation of what French people actually eat, I found this particular shopping escapade to be rather adventurous.
My first thought: chicken. I know that chicken translates as “poulet” in French but as I eyed up the fresh meat aisle I was inundated with breast of rabbit and a peculiar purple-ish meat which looked a little suspect. Finally I found the chicken section but sadly there was nothing but an empty box and a ripped off price tag. On the row above was the hugely expensive €5 a breast deal for a chicken reared in a 5* luxury chicken villa. Or wherever they send them to make them cost so darn much. I think it’d be cheaper to buy a live chicken and defluff it myself. After killing it…obviously.
Cheese. Yes, I have a particular appreciation of the stuff. Especially cheddar. Vintage cheddar from the Deli counter in Sainsbury’s is nothing short of beautiful; the way it crumbles onto the cheese board when you cut it. C’est parfait. To my disgrace, the French don’t really eat cheddar and instead their cheese of choice is Emmental. All I can say to that is: bland, bland, bland. Oh, and plastic. It’s the cheese you give to mice, not humans. So I spent about 30 minutes alone in the cheese aisle attempting to find my beloved cheddar, hoping, somewhere deep inside the crevices of a French cheesemaker’s soul, he may have had it in him to pasteurise some frickin’ cow’s milk into some frickin’ cheddar. Alas, this was not the case. So I had to give in and buy some pre-sliced orange cheese which was not Red Leicester. They didn’t have that either. Boo to the hoo.
Next stop: Cereal. The French aren’t as big on their cereal as they are in the UK but I can’t survive without my morning bowl of cereal (thanks Rebecca Black for turning this sentence into a song…forever indebted to you…). To my dismay I found no cereal. And I mean…no cereal. I must have done at least 20 laps of the supermarket from all different directions until I came to the conclusion that there simply must be no cereal. I was saddened by the thought that I might have to give in and eat bread for breakfast until suddenly, almost as if it had appeared out of thin air, a box of Weetabix caught my eye. THERE’S ANOTHER FLOOR TO THIS SUPERMARKET. Yes, in my naivety I’d completely missed the second floor, and the third one for that matter. I’ll be putting that 450g pack of Special K into my shopping basket thank you very much! *Sigh of relief*
Vegetables. All I’m sayin’ is the red peppers in France are GIGANTIC. The one I picked up was a funny shape, covered in dirt…and the size of my left bicep (i.e. massive…ish). I need something that I can actually fit in the fridge…I’m not planning on growing a vegetable patch with this oversized specimen you call a red pepper….just want it in my stir-fry. Is that too much to ask?
I also spent a tediously long amount of time staring into bottles of olive oil. I know this sounds fun, so don’t get too excited. The nice stuff was a little over-budget so in the end I decided to go for price over matter and chose something with an incomprehensible label - but the contents looked reasonably yellow. I just hope it’s for cooking food and that it aint lighter fluid. Guess I’ll find that out tonight when I’m retching over my chicken substitute.
I also splashed out on some baby yoghurts, grated emmental (wanted to see what all the fuss was about), honey, brown bread, salami, butter, milk, noodles, soy sauce, mayo, rocket, tuna, mushrooms, broccoli, garlic, pasta, tomato sauce, petits pois, camomile tea, tortelloni and orange juice. I’m 50 euros down and I didn’t even buy caviar!! This food better be darn tasty.
Watch this space.