• strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.

Grocery Geeks, this Blog’s for You (and Me)…

Grocery Geeks, this Blog’s for You (and Me)…

 When I was a little girl, my mother was not allowed to go to the grocery store. My father, instead, did all the cooking and shopping. He had retired early while she still worked, so this decision was both pragmatic and ahead of its time. On the rare occasions when my mother did go to the store with us (never by herself), she would invariably roam the aisles, with childlike wonderment. We would lose her somewhere after produce and before the condiment aisle, where, deep in reverie, she would explore and contemplate the ‘new’ introduction of diet drinks, snack packs, and all the goodies from which she had been shielded. My father cooked fresh and healthful meals, and naturally omitted all foods, including cheetos and lima beans, that he deemed unhealthful (the former) or unpalatable (the latter). My mother did not interfere with these well-advised decisions; she just browsed, much the way one would browse on Rodeo Drive or look at paintings in the Louvre. It was both delightful and absolutely inefficient – so we made it a point to always shop when she was working, and to ban her from entering if we needed to stop for an ingredient or two on the way home from anywhere.

In spite of these careful precautions, my mother managed to impart her deep appreciation of the grocery store to me – a trait that leaves my husband (a software consultant for grocery stores, ironically) befuddled whenever we shop together. Imagine then the scene today, as we made it the primary, focused goal of our morning to venture into the suburbs of Paris to explore the Nouveaux Robinson, a biocoop with markets only on the outskirts of town. Perhaps it was because our experience on the New York subway was still fresh in our minds, but after a 20 minute subway ride to the end of the 10 Line, as the number of passengers dwindled dramatically, we expected we might get out in the middle of an ‘unsavory’ (aka frightening) or industrial neighborhood. I cannot adequately convey our surprise then, when we ascended the metro steps to find a quaint and picturesque village, full of cafes, tree-lined avenues, and the mandatory iphone outpost. A mere block and we had reached it – the mecca of healthfoods of which I had dared to dream… My husband graciously agreed to watch our son as I combed the aisles, breathlessly.

His sacrifice was not as large as you might expect. The entire store could fit into our living room (in Texas, NOT to be confusedwith our living room/dining room/playroom here, in our little digs off of Saint Germain des Pres). It was however, totally navigatable as a result, and chock full of edible treasures. Yogurts and kefirs with high probiotic content, a small but adequate produce corner, and behold – a half an aisle devoted to bulk items such as muesli and rice (never again will I need to pay 5 dollars for 2 cups worth!). I even found agave, tahini, rice flours….

And some items we decided to pass on – such as the 7 dollar loaf of sprouted Essene bread with the density of my suitcase and the size of my husband’s palm. Or the 8 Euro (nearly 12 dollar) box of quinoa flake cereal. We’ll stick to the muesli, thanks.

And fast forward to a modest 45 minutes later, when we emerged with our brimming canvas sack, ready for a café lunch and the metro home. The entire trip was reminiscent of a scavenger hunt for treasures, and utterly delightful.

Now I don’t mean to imply by my quest for the familiar in my grocery shopping experience that French supermarkets should, could, or would resemble American ones. To even envision this, I would need to envision a market environment where locally-grown was no longer at a premium. I don’t object to not being able to find apricots in winter, or winter greens in summer. In fact, I prefer it. Neither can I pretend to be fully acculturated — a pretentious and silly notion, especially the minute I open my mouth to speak. So, on this pleasant, slightly hot Monday, I am allowing myself this middle ground – inordinate enthusiasm at my agave-muesli adventure, coupled with a grand café crème and a pain au chocolat to wash it all down.

 

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