Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, August 4, 2008

I recently found a decent-sized grocery store near my place, and this afternoon I decided to head back over there and check it out a bit more. Now, I'm very lucky because there are 2 Franprix, 2 Eds and 2 épiceries within a 5 minute walk of where I live - but the selection is often limited and the prices high. So I was happy to find a Champion a couple stops down on my bus line.

I didn't have anything specific to buy, it was more of a reconnaissance mission, to get a feel of the lay-out of the store and the products they carried. As I was walking through the aisles though, I was surprised to see how many processed or pre-packaged foods they carried. They had one whole aisle dedicated to pre-washed/peeled/chopped veggies alone. It was really strange, like being in an American grocery store.

I've always thought that supermarkets were a good indicator of societal changes. Malgré tout, the French have less time to prepare meals à l'ancienne, so products that save time, such as canned, frozen or pre-chopped veggies, are on the up and up. I remember when I came here for the first time in 2001. I was so surprised that the frozen food section was pretty much non-existant. And now just seven years later, frozen food sections are huge and Picard is one of the fastest growing French chains.

While I'm happy that more "familiar" foods are available to me (especially here in Paris), it does kind of make me sad. This whole "americanization" of the world, the way that if I wanted, I could subsist only on McDonald's or Pizza Hut or Subway or Starbucks in Paris, a major food capital of the world. Though I guess if they're there, it's because there's a demand for it... I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, it's just some thoughts that were rolling around in my head as I unpacked my groceries.


Blogger judyb said...

i remember being pretty surprised at the number of prepared foods available in my local Intermarche. A lot of them were still in cans, though (oh how the French love the tin can...)

August 4, 2008 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Ken Broadhurst said...

And Sarkozy is busy telling everybody to work longer hours. Now that everybody works, nobody's at home to make lunch or dinner. It's modern life, and I don't see it changing back unless oil prices make processed and packaged food just too expensive for people to afford.

August 5, 2008 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger The Big Finn said...

There's been a huge increase in the amount of pre-packaged, convenience foods in the Swiss grocery stores since we moved here in 2000. There's also been a noticeable increase in the number of overweight people in Switzerland. I'm guessing that the same thing will happen to the French.

August 5, 2008 at 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

always interested in your observations of french life.

August 5, 2008 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Je ne regrette rien said...

fucking 'mericans. :P

August 15, 2008 at 6:10 PM  

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