French supermarkets

Every week, usually on Monday, but sometimes on Saturday, my hosts go to St. Maixent l’Ecole, a booming little town with lots of supermarkets. Leclerc is similar to Tesco in the UK or Ireland, and like a small Walmart in the U.S. Lidl is basically an Aldi store (it might be owned by them). You get basic foodstuffs that look like the brands you recognize, but the names are all different. For example, the other day at Lidl, we were picking out breakfast cereals. I named Cocoa Crispies, Sugar Smacks (actually don’t think they use ‘sugar’ in the name anymore), Fruit and Fiber, bran flakes, and a bran flake with nuts in it that reminded me of Great Grains.

Cereals are familiar and similar the world over, it seems. Other items are definitely ‘French,’ like coq au vin in a jar, tuna pizza (?!), and paté that is really cheap (around 65 cents per small jar).

Last Saturday we went to town so we could go to the open air market. There was a woman selling young poultry—baby ducks, chicks, turkeys, guinea fowl, geese. There was a garden center set up selling starters of most vegetables, seed potatoes, and garden equipment like watering cans in 4 sizes and rubber wash tubs. Over on the mall area, there were vendors with kitchen utensils, hats, clothes, dolls, purses and totes, and more. We didn’t buy anything, but it was fun to wander and look at everything. I practiced my French on one woman, who had about as much English as my French. I asked “Combien?” (“How much?”) to one man who replied, “C’est marqué, five euros.” I asked him if he’d pegged me as American, and he grinned. Ros said I spoke French with an American accent.

Here are the pics from the day, including the chocolate Easter chicken for sale at Lidl’s. I saw no chocolate bunnies, just this huge hen. Of course, there were other Easter candies for sale, but this tickled me for some reason. I really should have bought it; even the nest was chocolate.

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6 Responses to French supermarkets

  1. What I would love are the “farmers” markets. I have read about all the great meats, vegetables, spices and crafts that can be found.

    • ericagott says:

      Yeah, Debbie, I visited those 4 years ago when I was in France. Yum! This one didn’t have any. I’m told there was a food hall, but we didn’t get that far.

  2. I miss French grocery stores, as strange as they sometimes are (to us Americans) 😉 I just loved being able to get cheeses and pates and wonderful breads to make yummy sandwiches!

  3. p.s. try les gauffres sucres (sugared waffles) they are these thick Belgian style waffles (5 in a pack) and they are SOOOOOO yum!

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