Wednesday, July 18, 2012


 Everyone has their passions.

 Mine is visiting supermarkets as long as they are not in the US

 Rural France has amazingly huge and delightful supermarkets

 It's a great way to get a broad spectrum of what the local artisanal products are. Though you would do far better to buy at the weekly marche de producteurs. I didn't have the chance so I raced around the Intermarche shooting right and left. Honey/miel is made here in the Charantes.

 The nearby famed summer resort, L'ile de Re has salt beds much like Normandy

 Plus there is wonderful butter in the Charantes

 Throw great butter + salt together and what do you get?

 Caramel to-die-for in every form and manner.
Miam miam

 This is galette country much like the north with so much beurre to play fling about liberally.

 I'd have loved to try these galettes with prunes or pomme...

 Or these biscuits pleine de beurre.

 I didn't see any home grown macarons in this town of 5,000. But Biff found my single Arnaud Larhrer pistachio macaron lurking in my bag. The dog has refined taste. We had to pry his jaws open to retreive it. Miraculously it was unbroken! A gentle thief is dear Biff.

 Back to the delicious shelves of the Intermarche. Chevre/goat cheese is another local specialty in every form - logs, pyramids, raw, you name it.

 Outside you remember you are not in Paris, though I will be this afternoon.

 For more of Karen Wheeler's entertaining stories of living in the French hinterlands get a copy of Living France Magazine.

Everything you wanted to know about moving to France lies within.
A bientot PBers!


J. M. said...

Enjoying the Tour de France lately.... I recently painted Victor Hugo's once residence on my website , you might be interested, always love your work, kind regards , Jacinta Montgomery.

Anonymous said...

This is a fabulous post! merci! I love how the groceries everywhere look better than the ones at home. Thanks for the nice perspective & great photos . So sad about your last Macaron. It is a good thing you like dogs so much,or he would be in the dog house. Have a fun and safe trip! Fan From Rural Oregon USA

Unknown said...

the Intermarche looks interesting, so many local produce to choose from!

i'm starting to love Biff. i hope to get a dog like him someday.

Karen@PasGrand-Chose said...

I do like it that even supermarkets in regional France reflect local produce/ specialities of the region. That's something you don't see in Britain, where your fresh veggies in supermarkets are more likely to have been flown in from Peru or Kenya.
Biff certainly has good taste!

Merisi in Vienna said...

Biff has me up in stitches, such delicacy in handling a macaron! :-)

I thoroughly enjoyed browsing another French supermarket with you, simply terrific, and I love that they embrace slow, local food.


Karen in VA (was CT) said...

... I love to supermarket shop in France and England ... I'm not sure why the products fascinate me. Thanks for the peek, it sounds like you have had a great time. Onward to Paris ... best, Karen in CT

Sweet Freak said...

C'est vrai - supermarkets in foreign countries supply endless fascination, and many a sweet discoveries. Amuse-toi, Carolg!

La Table De Nana said...

I would so be with you in the supermarkets and small grocers etc..I just wrote about French Cookies:)Funny sometimes things coincide..

We have Le Tour De France on every day too:)

Amy said...

Oh, French salty caramels! Worth the airfare.

It's funny that Biff steals macarons from your purse. My cats only drop their toy mice into mine. Scares the crap out of me when I'm digging around for my lip balm and feel something furry in there.

Jen said...

Oh and here I thought I was the only person who genuinely enjoyed going to foreign super markets! The ones in Ireland are lovely and quaint and there's actually only one or two brands of some things. Really makes life easier in the decision making department. I mean, how many types of mayonnaise does one need?

Lovely post!

Amy said...

(OK, and I just ordered that magazine. You keep suggesting these gorgeous books and publications, Carol, and I'm going to go broke!)

Anonymous said...

Where oh where are you? Bretagne? Please tell me Yes!!

Kikka N said...

...and where is the Bear?

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

Ah that Biff! He has what is known as a soft mouth - he doesn't crunch down hard on what he's makes him eminently suited to be a hunter's dog - he won't smash the birds when he retrieves them. That you were able to pry his jaws open means he is incredibly cooperative: I have had both kinds of Airedales - cooperative like Ozzie (in fact he would actually drop ANY prize if told to do so) and Uncooperative like Drizzle, whose jaws could not be pied open by 3 strong people if he had a treat he prized. But I started out to rave about the grocery stores! Why is it that foreign food labels hold such romance?
I had been feeling deprived with our crass American boxes and labeling until I saw a European blogger's book project, where she proudly showed her great "find", a Land-o-Lakes butter box! I now try to look with new eyes at my pantry.

Parisbreakfasts said...

Believe it or not I think Land O' Lakes has been licensed over here-I'll look again for it at Vaisellerie
Shocking isn't it?
Very interesting about the 'soft mouth'
Who knew?

Parisbreakfasts said...

Biff gave Bear a really good nuzzle after stealing him out of my bag
Too funny!

Parisbreakfasts said...

1st I was near Tours in the Loire Vallee

Then in Poitou-Charantes, rural western central France.
Read Karen Wheeler's Tout Sweet series and you'll get an immediate feel for the place and perhaps a desire to visit!

Parisbreakfasts said...

You won't be disappointed.
Karen gave me some copies to read on the train -very practical and great fun.

Parisbreakfasts said...

the macaron was stale anyway...I was using it to paint from..I had a bunch more anyway but Karen did manage to get it back for me!
merci Oregon

Nikon said...

I like the French countryside! I love your Paris photos, but this is a nice interruption.
Maybe it's the houses, I don't know, but I like this part of France!

Frances said...

I've also always liked taking a tour of the supermarkets in other countries. This definitely gives you a close up view of the current culture, and also yields some delicious sampling.

Like you Carol, I also am always interested in seeing what the package designs are like, too.

Hey...long lasting thunderstorm passed its way through NYC today, in the late afternoon. Lots of thunder, lightning, and rain, but the promise of hail proved to be false.

So now it's a bit cooler, but oh, so much more humid. Even so, I am enjoying tonight's strawberries and cream along with iced coffee, as I have this catch up with your travels.


Parisbreakfasts said...

More fraises on Thursday for you Frances

Janine@thegoodlifefrance said...

I'm with you on French supermarkets and packaging - just love them...though I love the street markets too! Janine

Heloisa de Mesquita Inoue said...

Oi? Quanta coisa bonita e gostosa! Um bom fim de semana! Beijos!

Anonymous said...

Charente (or Poitou-Charentes) not Charantes

Parisbreakfasts said...

Daer Anonymous,
as noted in the sidebar Disclaimer:
I don't profess to use perfect French nor do I bother with accents.
Please forgive
Blogger is glitchy enough without pushing it to the limit when posting.

Judi said...

Ah, Land O' Lakes from MN my homestate (FL now) the best butter!

Judi said...

Love looking at the supermarkets and have completely obsessed about the le cardmelier lime plaid jar with lime top and is that.....a pink spoon on the side,

Parisbreakfasts said...

Exactly Judi!
The French would like you to dig into the jar of caramel instantly and supply a spoon just for that!

Lori Lynn said...

Love the jaunty packaging.
I would buy so much more than needed...

Emily and George said...

Just wanted to say that we loved your blog today!
You captured the francophile's dream perfectly!
Every time we arrive in France, we are so excited to get to the supermarket!
And great to see another avid Living France reader :)

sherri said...

I love foreign supermarkets too.