Saturday Food Shopping Extravaganza

I have not written about our eating habits in a long time. But that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the best foods every day. We haven’t had any fast food, frozen foods or “Magifix” since last year October. Saturdays I regularly enjoy going to our little market around the corner and buy fresh veggies, herbs and fruit. Lately we have taken over the Jamie Oliver tradition of having a chicken each Sunday, tomorrow it will be stuffed with a lemon and with fresh herb and garlic butter under the skin, served with roasted potatos, peppers and onions 🙂 Yummy.

Today my little shopping trip included the grocery store, the veggie stall that father and daughter run together who are so very proud of their produce and both very nice people, the poultry stall where I prefer buying my eggs and chickens (and chicken liver as a starter) and “Il Gargano”.

Next time I am there I must ask what the name means. It is a small Italian store selling mostly organic and/or (I am not quite clear on this) anything the Italians in the quarter might miss from home (and there are a lot of Italians here). They have infinite types of Italian pasta, cheeses (I just love the spicy taste of the Provolone), sausages and ham. They have the best garlic on sale and nice big and very sweet red onions. So many different types of canned tomatoes and beans I don’t know which to take and fresh tomatoes of kinds no other store around here sells. Two of the women that run it are sisters I found out. I think one of the others must be their mother and this morning everyone there spoke Italian: too bad I don’t speak more than three words.

This morning before going shopping I tried to follow up on that old rule “Do not go shopping for food when hungry” and had a slice of bread with some feta crumbled on before leaving the apartment. It did not help one bit. I managed to leave the grocery store with just two more items than planned. The market was easy too, I just cannot make it past the flower stall where this wonderful grandma woman sells beautiful flowers that keep much longer than those I buy at stores every once in a while. But then I came to “Il Gargano”. I made it out with only a bunch of spicy pancetta (it costs just as much as your usual breakfast bacon and tastes much better and it can be eaten raw as well!) and a spicy “homemade” sausage with fennel beyond what I had planned to buy. I didn’t even buy any Provolone because we still have a large piece from my last trip (the store really is only two minutes around the corner).

Then for tonight’s birthday dinner for my father I needed to shop tarragon — a wonderful and woefully underused herb! The only Bocuse recipe I every made from that book used it and ever since I have been a fan. That quest led me to “Scheck-in” the exclusive expensive big grocery store down the big street (let’s say it is around 2 corners). Again I could not resist. I bought my very favorite mustard which we have not had in a long time because it doesn’t keep well and that is not a fault of the mustard I must admit: Maille au Miel. I probably mentionned it before. It’s sweet and tangy and versatile: you can use it for dressings, for grilling meat, as a breakfast spread – that is what I did this morning, it goes well with cheese or just simply pure, little doses at a time. If you live in France you have probably tried it and if you live nearby you must try it. Too bad it only comes in those small jars.

So here’s today’s breakfast: bread with honey-mustard, darjeeling, a slice of spicy pancetta and a couple of pieces of spicy Italian sausage (the name of which escapes me as soon as I leave the store … every time) and as a finisher a bite or two of feta. Uhm yes I call that breakfast and a great one!

And that is how it ends about every Saturday 🙂