9.13.2008

Market Day




I used to loathe grocery shopping in Paris. I thought it was a big hassle. I hated having to quickly bag my own groceries before the next customer’s items came tumbling down the conveyor belt. I hated having to carry everything home or manage my little pull-cart down the cobbled street. I hated wondering whether I got a nice piece of cheese or just something the shop owner was trying to unload.

It was so much easier in States where I could fill my SUV with the brand-names I knew and pull my car right into the garage for easy access to my kitchen.
It's no wonder that the French use the same term, faire des courses, for grocery shopping and running a race. It requires practice, skill and a degree of athleticism.
Eventually, I adjusted my attitude and developed a strategy for this sport. I learned where I should purchase my bread, cheese, wine, etc.
I go to Maison Gosselin, where fresh fruits and vegetables are fully stocked and beautifully arranged. La Fromagerie de Passy where the woman behind the counter recognizes me and patiently explains the flavors of the cheese. The Supermarché, where the aisles are wide and check-out girls are friendly. I quickly dart in and out of these shops according to the length of the lines and weight of the items I must carry.On my way home, I stop at the La Flute Enchantée for my bread. Not coincentially, "the Magic Flute" is on Avenue Mozart and the colloquial term for baguette is flute. I am charmed by this confluence of artistic reference and daily life.The Passy market is a bustling and fun place to be on Saturday mornings. I never know what I'll see and I always come home with something interesting and unexpected. It’s usually something that looks so colorful and delicious that I just have to eat it. Today, it was raspberries. Who knows what it will be next week.
Now, I love grocery shopping in Paris. I view the process as a testament to France's love of bonne cuisine.


No comments: