Tag Archives: supermarket

Paris Supermarket Souvenirs

Ellise Pierce, otherwise known to foodies as the Cowgirl Chef , is a Texan transplanted in Paris.  Although she hasn’t given up her love for cowboy boots and Tex-Mex cooking, she also writes lovingly about the cuisine and quirks of her adopted home town. 

Her recent post, Paris Supermarket Souvenirs, unearthes the culinary treasures that can be found in a typical Parisian supermarket.  (She refers to her own neighborhood store as “the stinky stinky Franprix.”  And yes, she still shops there.)  No Fauchon, Hediard or La Grande Epicerie for this gal.  Just eleven must buy items that a) make great gifts for folks back home and b) you should try out yourself, that is, if you haven’t already discovered these classics.

Ellise’s list includes:

  1. Mousse-worthy chocolate
  2. Drinking and baking chocolate
  3. Sea salt
  4. Piment d’Espelette
  5. Nut oils
  6.  Tuna in olive oil
  7.  Sugar
  8. Real French mustard
  9. Lentilles du Puy
  10. Powdered veal stock
  11. Speculoos paste

For all the details (including pictures with brand names), go to Ellise’s blog.   Bon shopping y’all.

Supermarkets Open on Sundays

Specialty food shops have long been open on Sundays but until recently, relatively few supermarkets.  But times are changing and now quite a few are open, some as late as 8:00 pm, good news for those of us constantly running low on milk or coming home from a weekend away. Take note: Decisions on Sunday openings appear to be made at the store level; just because one store in a chain is open doesn’t mean they’re all open. And opening hours are always subject to change!

If you know of other places that are open on Sundays, leave a comment and we’ll update the list.

1st arrondissement

Franprix
20, place du Marché Saint-Honoré
Open 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

2nd arrondissement

Franprix
9, rue du 4 Septembre
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

3rd arrondissement

Franprix
49, rue de Bretagne
Open 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Franprix
26, rue Rambuteau
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
42, rue Turbigo
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

4th arrondissement

Franprix
20, rue de Bourg Thibourg
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
87, rue de la Verrerie
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

5th arrondissement

Franprix
14, rue Lagrange
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
28, rue Montagne Sainte Geneviève
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
122/124, rue Mouffetard
Open 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

6th arrondissement

8 à Huit
4, rue J.Bart

Carrefour Market
79, rue de Seine
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
79 bis,  rue de Vaugirard (corner of rue de Vaugirard and Blaise Desgoffe)

7th arrondissement

Carrefour City
42, avenue de la Motte-Piquet
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Franprix
27, rue Cler
Open 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

G20
73, rue du Bac
Open 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

G20
9, rue Jean Nicot
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m

8th arrondissement

Franprix
9, rue de la Borde
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m

Franprix
1-3, rue de Penthièvre
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m

Franprix
35, rue de Ponthieu
Open 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m

9th arrondissement

Carrefour City
9, rue Buffault
Open 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Franprix
2, rue de Chateaudun
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
22, rue Choron
Open 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
49, rue Notre Dame de Lorette
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

10th arrondissement

Franprix
12, boulevard Magenta
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

G20
6, boulevard St-Denis
Open 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Franprix
246, rue du Faubourg-St. Martin
Open 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

G20
156, rue Parmentier
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
3, rue des Petits Hotels
Open 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

11th arrondissement

Carrefour City
32, rue de Sedaine
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
24, rue Keller
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

12th arrondissement

G20
34, rue des Citeaux
Open 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

G20
26, rue Marsoulan
Open 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

13th arrondissement

Franprix
24 rue du Javelot
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
13, rue Rubens
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

G20
16, rue Caillaux
Open 9:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

14th arrondissement

G20
33, rue du Commandant Mouchotte
Open 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Franprix
171 rue d’Alésia
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
19, rue Daguerre
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
15, rue Didot
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
45, rue des Plantes
Open 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

G20
121, avenue du Général Leclerc
Open 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

15th arrondissement

8 à Huit
75, rue St. Charles

Franprix
11/120, rue de  l’Abbé Groult
Open 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
48, boulevard du Montparnasse
Open 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

G20
5, rue du Docteur Jacquemaire Clémenceau
Open 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

G20
269, rue Lecourbe
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

G20
106/110, rue de Sèvres
Open 8:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Shopi
115, rue de Vaugirard

16th arrondissement

Carrefour City
142, avenue Malakoff
Open 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Franprix
160, avenue de Versailles
Open 9:00 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.

Franprix
203, avenue de Versailles
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m

Franprix
9, rue de la Faisanderie
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
174, rue de la Pompe
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
79, rue Ranelagh
Open 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

17th arrondissement

Franprix
10, rue Baron
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
104, rue des Moines
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Franprix
14-20, rue Poncelet
Open 8:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

G20
9bis, rue de Montenotte
Open 9:00 a.m.-noon

G20
65, avenue Guy Moquet
Open 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Galeries Gourmande
Palais des Congrès at Porte Maillot
Open 10:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Free parking in the underground garage for one hour with validation
Note: The Gap store adjacent is also open on Sundays.

18th arrondissement

Franprix
92, rue Duhesme
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

G20
17, rue Lepic
Open 8:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

19th arrondissement

G20
37, avenue Laumière
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

20th arrondissement

G20
27/29, rue Bisson
Open 9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

G20
191, rue des Pyrénées
Open 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Levallois

La Ferme de Levallois
84, rue de Villiers
Open: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Neuilly-sur-Seine

Shopi
59, avenue du Roule
Open 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Making Sense of the Supermarket, Part III: Eggs

If you’ve found the eggs in the supermarket, congratulations! The next step is figuring out the difference in all the varieties.    The packaging always shows a consumption date of 28 days after the eggs were laid; they cannot be sold after 21 days have elapsed.  Only eggs less than 9 days from being laid may be labeled as oeufs frais (fresh eggs).

Every egg sold in France is marked with a code, for example: 0 FR ABT01.  The first digit (between 0 and 3) indicates how the chicken who laid the egg was raised. The two letters following indicate the country of production (here FR for France). The final digits signify the specific producer. In this post, we’ll focus on the meaning of the first digit.

0: Ninety percent of the food eaten by the chicken who laid this egg was organic (no chemicals or pesticides were used).  The chicken was raised en plein air,  that is, allowed to graze in an exterior area with 4 square meters per chicken.   There is an indoor shelter where the chicken sleeps and lays eggs, but there is a limit to the number of chickens living in the interior area. The carton will be marked “AB” indicating that this is a fully organic product.

1: This egg was laid by a free-range chicken allowed to graze in an area at least 4 square meters per chicken. 

 2: This egg was laid by an uncaged chicken but one allowed only to graze indoors.   There is a limit of 9 chickens per square meter for eggs from this location to be marked “2.”

3: This egg was raised by a caged chicken living indoors.  There may be up to 18 chickens per square meter in this location.

Eggs marked “0” are considered to be of the highest quality and are priced accordingly.

Eggs are also labeled on the packaging by their size from petit (less than 53 grams) to XL (more than 73 grams).   For comparison purposes, an American egg classified as large weighs around 57 grams.

Making Sense of the Supermarket: Part II, The Produce Section

This is the second in a series of posts about the typical French supermarket, a place where I spent many hours during my first months in France.  Today, we tackle the produce section.

Let’s start with the biggest difference between the French supermarket and the one you left back home;  in many supermarkets in France, you have to weigh and tag your own fruits and vegetables.  If you can’t find a scale anywhere, you are off the hook.  Many Monoprix stores, for example, now have a scale at the register just like you’d find in an American supermarket.  But if there’s a scale, here’s what you do.

Put your bag of fruits and veggies on the scale.

On the screen above the scale, select “fruits” or “legumes” (vegetables). 

You’ll then come up to menu, usually a bunch of squares with pictures of different fruits or veggies, and a code number.  If you’ve got broccoli, punch the square marked “broccoli” (same in French as in English!), and the machine will spit out a self adhesive tag.  Stick it on your bag of broccoli and you are good to go.

For apples, oranges, pears, and any other item of which there are multiple varieties, look for the square identifying the variety you’ve selected.  If you’re not sure, look back at the sign over the produce bin where you got the item in the first place.  Usually, there is a code (something like “305”).  Take a look again at those squares appearing on the scale screen and look for the square with that code.

Some items are sold by the piece (la pièce), the bunch (la botte) or the unit ( a l’unité) and thus do not have to be weighed.  Such items might include a head of lettuce, a bunch of parsley, or a large piece of fruit like a mango. You also do not have to weigh anything that is prebagged such as prewashed lettuce, plastic bags of apples, or string bags of onions.  Anything that needs to be weighed will be marked vrac (bulk) or with the price per kilogram (kg).

Bio is the French term for organic.  Many supermarkets offer both conventional and bio produce.  As in the U.S. bio items are often more expensive, but not always.

Making Sense of the Supermarket: Part I, The Basics

You gotta eat and therefore you gotta have food.  While one of the joys of Paris is learning all the individual neighborhood shops for meat, produce, and cheese plus spending time at any of the wonderful open-air markets, it can all be a little intimidating at first, especially if your French is not that strong.    The supermarket is a much easier place to start but even so, it won’t be exactly like the one you are used to back in the States.  

If you are ready to shop and you want to use a cart, you will need a one-euro coin to liberate the cart.  To prevent their disappearance, carts are linked together.  Putting a one-euro coin in the device on the handle will allow you to pull out the chain connecting your cart with all the others.   When you return the cart after you’ve finished shopping, you reconnect the chain and you will get your euro back.  Some bigger markets offer plastic tokens (jetons) the same size as a one-euro coin that can be used in the same way.  You may be able to ask for one at the customer service desk; if you’re lucky, they may even have a bowl of them sitting right out in the open.  I like having a jeton in my change purse; I can’t spend it so it’s always there when I need it.

Every supermarket is a bit different so it’s hard to give good advice on where to find what.  But here are a few pointers:

  • The eggs are not in the refrigerated section.  You will find them on a shelf.
  • Sugar may not be next to the flour and other baking supplies.  In one store where I shop, the sugar is next to the coffee.  In another, the sugar is next to the bottled water.
  • If you don’t find canned tomatoes with the other canned vegetables, look next to the pasta sauce.
  • Canned chicken stock does not exist.  Make your own, use bouillon cubes, or better yet, powdered fond de volailles which usually can be found next to the bouillon cubes.

Perhaps the most dispiriting part of the supermarket experience comes at the end when you find that you have to bag your own groceries.  In some cases, you even have to bring your own bags or be willing to pay for the store’s bags.   You will likely find it very nerve wracking to try to bag and pay for your groceries at the same time.  Just a few tips here:

  • Take a deep breath and take your time.  If you look around, you will notice that many French customers bag all their groceries before getting out their wallets.
  • If you brought a grocery caddie with you, shop using the caddie instead of the store’s cart.  Take everything out of the caddie and put it on the conveyor belt, and then put it back in the caddie when the checker has scanned it.  If your store does not allow you to bring your caddie into the store (you may have to check it when you enter),  put everything back into the grocery cart after it is scanned, pay, reclaim your caddie, transfer the groceries from the cart to the caddie, and then return the cart.
  • Use the store’s free home delivery service which bags your groceries for you.  More on home delivery in a future post.