Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I wanted to give a little bit of publicity for a great organic store C & I came across a few months ago.  It's called Bio C' Bon, and they have twelve different locations in the Paris metro area (and one in Aix too).

Once a month or so, when I know I won't be traveling for several days, we head over there and pick up one of their "paniers bio".  For a while now, I'd been wanting to sign up for one of these with one of the local Amaps, but they always seemed so inflexible - ie either you needed to pick it up on a certain day at a certain time, or it was hard to cancel if you were going out of town. It just didn't seem to ever work out with my travel schedule, plus it'd be a lot for C to eat the weeks I was gone.

Whereas with Bio C' Bon, the paniers are available every day of the week at any of their locations.  The selection of fruits and vegetables changes every Tuesday, and I also find their prices a lot more reasonable than with the weekly ones (10€ for a minimum of 4kg).

This week's panier had three leeks, a big head of lettuce, 5 zucchinis, 8 carrots, 8 potatoes, 5 pears, 3 big apples and 10 clementines. I don't know what you guys think, but that seems like a great deal to me for organic fruits and veggies - I think even cheaper than what I would pay at the local marché. Plus it's been fun for us to hunt around together for recipes to use everything up.

What's great with this store too is that if ever there's something you don't like, you can substitute it for something else (in this case, we substituted 3 gigantic oranges for the clementines).   Or a different time, I needed extra leeks for a recipe I was making, so they let me swap the onions for a few more leeks. The employees are all very friendly and you can tell they actually care about what they're doing - which as we all know can be rare here.

In addition to the panier, they are also a regular organic grocery store, with other produce, meats, dairy products and all kinds of dry goods. I've taken to buying quinoa and other grains in bulk there because the prices are so good.  They also have a pretty good range of gluten-free and other specialty products, but those are a bit pricier.

Update: In case anyone was wondering what we did with our panier:
  • 1 apple, 2 pears and the clementines were all afternoon snacks
  • The lettuce ended up being a dinner salad for us for 5 meals
  • 5 of the potatoes and 3 of the carrots were roasted with a whole chicken
  • I made chicken broth with the carcass and then used that plus the rest of the potatoes & the 3 leeks to make a soup.
  • I shredded 3 of the zucchinis and 3 of the carrots for a veggie risotto that were served with the chicken legs from the previous night.
  • The two remaining zucchinis and carrots were diced and used with the left-over chicken bits to make a pasta dish. 
  • The last three pears were used for a poached pear dessert
  • The remaining two apples were used for an apple crisp
So with all of the leftovers, it ended up being enough for a week's worth of lunches and dinners.  It's actually pretty economical when you think about it - everything else we needed (rice, olive oil, flour, etc), we already had on hand at home, so the only thing we needed to purchase was the chicken and a bag of onions, making a total of 15€ a week for the two of us. Pas trop mal for Paris, huh?

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Blogger gz said...

That sounds really good, and sensible too that you can swap the contents for what you will use

February 7, 2012 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Thanks for mentioning this. I love to buy bio but the prices are getting to be outrageous so this should be a better option for me.

February 7, 2012 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Linds Frank said...

This is an awesome discovery! I have to check one of the stores out.

February 7, 2012 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger purejuice said...

i was hoping that chicken and the potatoes and the leeks would wind up making beautiful music together. num.

February 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger The Paris Chronicles said...

I, too, had hesitated to take out a subscription to one of those bio services; it just seemed too constraining.

But I see there are a couple of these places in the 15th! I'll check them out.

Thanks for the info.

February 9, 2012 at 3:58 PM  

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