Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Croq ` Soja

Ive gone to the grocery store a few times now. The first time was a mixture of excitement and stress. I was excited, for example, to find that there was BOTH vegan yogurt and pudding (its more like flan actually). This is not a product of a vegan movement, let me assure you. The French are starting to get interested in Organics and these vegan products are an offshoot of that.
I went up and down all the rows and marveled at how tiny all the boxes were and how miniature all the cans of veggies were, but also at how dang expensive it is!
To get along here you kinda have to forget how to convert Euros into dollars. You will be misserable if you convert everything and really think about how much you are spending. I spend about 20 to 30 Euros each time i grocery shop and i come home with about a third as much as I would spending the same amount at home.
I came upon these strange looking patties in the Bio section ( BIO is French for Organic) and thought I would give them a try. I was a bit miffed by them because they present them as a breakfast food for some reason. Lots of food here has little meal suggestions on the back and this one suggests grapefruit and yogurt to accompany it.
Not so for me. I have plenty of delish things to eat for breakfast and need more dinner options that dont require a microwave or an oven, as I have neither. So I decided to fry one of these bad boys up.

I know. They look kinda gross. Taking them out of their slimy little package and putting them in the frying pan I was going through all the restaurants in my head that were close by that I could go to should this be awful.

Well... not half bad actually! I had a mixture of greens, some avocado, gouda chunks, and then I crumbled the patty overtop and (gasp) topped it with bals-vin!

Oh but back to how the grocery store was stressful. Apparantly there are lines you can get in that are express lines but you can only use this line if you carried around this little scanner while you shopped. I kept seeing people scan the barcode of the stuff they were putting in their cart, but it seemed that people with hand baskes like myself were not. So i walked around, watching the natives, wondering if I was going to have to go around and find everything once I found out I had to scan things too. Turned out I didnt need to; thank god.
But, I had a little problem at the check out. In the fruit and veggie section there are scales and I saw people putting their veggies in bags then putting them on the scale, than choosing from the touchscreen which veggie they had. The machine would print out a sticker that they then put on the fruit or veggie bag.
I did the same with my apples and bananas. Now normally I would never put these things in a bag because it just seems like a waste but when in Rome... or Limoges.
I got to the checkout and the checkout lady said, no its better if you dont have a bag, and she ripped the bag of my bananas, took them out and handed them to me, then started giving me directions in French I didnt understand to go back to the fruit section and do something. I ran back there while the whole line waited and looked around frantically. Did she want me to put the sticker right on the bananas? I got frustrated and just threw them back in the pile and ran back to pay my bill.
Oh also you get charged for using grocery store bags. Really they dont even have them. I knew this and brought my messanger bag, but Leesandro didnt and they had to look around for one for him then have him pay seperately for it while everyone in line watched.

One thing tried, one thing liked. I will keep you posted as more come along!


Tess Carter said...

Glad to know this went well!! Reminds me of shopping in London- of course no language barrier, but their groceries are also different. They have TONS of pre-prepared food like sandwiches and salads at groceries in London- apparently most people go there to buy lunch and eat in the park.

I remember the price thing too. By the end of my stay I was so depressed about it I gave up and paid whatever was asked without thinking about it. Walking around Rome in 100 degree weather all day... $3 for a soda? sure! *gag*

Are you planning on getting a little microwave or oven or something, or winging it without? Are restaurants close to you good? How much variety?

Lacey said...

I think Im going to wing it without the microwave or oven, unfortch. I will miss baking dearly but its only 7 months so I tink its reasonable to wait it out.
I havent really tried the restaurants yet. Tried a few bakeries which were great. Ive done a lot of menu looking though. Whats great about France is that they are required by law to post their menus outside, so for problem eaters like me I can tell right away if there is something I can eat.
Lots of Kabob shops here, traditional French (every part of the animal you never wanted to eat), Italian and pizza joints, lots of places to get crepes and quiche.
I got a personal pizza last night which was a mistake because I then proceeded to eat all 4 pieces and feel terrible all night!
Once I get more experience under my belt I will surely do some restaurant reviews in town here.