Long Weekends

2 05 2008

Spring in France is packed with long weekends.  Today is the pont(bridge) holiday between 1 May (a much more major holiday than I anticipated) and the weekend.  We’ve got friends coming to town, so I went down to La Grande Epicerie to stock up on cheese and some hard-to-find items like Worcestershire sauce for the inevitable Bloody Marys.

I tried taking pictures but was thwarted on several fronts.  First I was informed that photos of the pastry case were not allowed.  Who do they think they are?  Couderc didn’t mind.  Arnaud Larher didn’t mind.  Neither did Fauchon.  Or Gérard Mulot. Or Stohrer.  So that was annoying.  Then, as I was attempting to photograph the sign in the international section that read “Tex-Mex / Espagne” another Grande Epicerie employee came rushing over to tell me that there was not to be any picture-taking.  This, of course, cemented the decision to post all my photos of the place, whether they looked good or not.  (I know, so juvenile.)  Alas, the world is not meant to see photos of the Grande Epicerie.  Something happened to my memory card and I didn’t get any photos at all!  Sorry.

But let me just say this:  La Grande Epicerie is not all that.  Sure, they have some nice chocolates, teas, and jams.  But I know better places to get those.  The cheese selection is good, but not amazing (except possibly how much they’re charging).  It is, however, the only place I have found things like Worcestershire sauce, Coleman’s dried mustard, and McCann’s Irish Oatmeal.  This is probably because I haven’t yet found any British or Irish specialty shops.  But I will.  And the next time I need beef jerky, marshmallow fluff or Jiffy Pop, you’ll know where to find me: under the sign that says “Etats-Unis / Canada / Allemagne.”  (That’s US / Canada / Germany for you non-francophones.)

That said, I’m off to enjoy the rest of the weekend.




6 responses

2 05 2008

I wonder why they wouldn’t want pictures taken. Is there some terrible secret that’s going to get out from random pictures?

3 05 2008

I know, it’s weird, right? Maybe they just don’t want it to get out that the aforementioned “Tex-Mex / Espagne” section represents the entirety of their Latin American supply, and it consists mostly European-made corn chips and Dr. Pepper. Or that their pastries are just derivatives of some of the more famous pâtisseries in town. Or that, for some reason, they have Campbell’s soup and Hellman’s mayonnaise in the British section. (All things I was hoping to get pictures of so that I wouldn’t have to write long-winded sentences.)

3 05 2008

Here’s where I’ve been meaning to go for my American ingredient fix, apparently they have a bunch of British products as well :


But I can’t vouch for it, since I haven’t been there yet. Still, maybe worth a try since you weren’t impressed by La Grande Epicerie. Also, speaking of recommendations, and since you live near République, do you know a restaurant called Djam, rue Baurepaire? It’s a really cute place, not super expensive for good dinner in Paris. They serve sort of world cuisine revisited with their own twists, and downstairs there’s a fair-trade products boutique. I discovered it recently and really like it.

5 05 2008

I’ll have to check that out! Thanks! And I don’t know Djam, but I’ll put it on my list.

5 05 2008

Seriously, their “Tex-Mex” sign is to be laughed at. I’ve eaten some of those “tortilla” chips at a party, and let me just say you’d be better off making your own. I did like the sausage display, though…

6 05 2008

Yeah, sausage is good.

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