Friday, October 15, 2010

Grocery Run

Jean rang this morning to ask if I wanted to ride into the Ecomarche in Cajarc with her. Very timely as I was already planning a bus trip to do a grocery run. Much easier to do it with Jean! The Ecomarche is a real French adventure. First, there's the grocery cart or trolley as Jean calls it. You either have to insert a euro coin or a token to release one from the cart queue. You get your euro/token back when you return it. Some grocery stores require that you weigh your own produce; the Ecomarche does not which makes me happy. I'll never forget the withering look I received from the cashier at the Bon Marche in Paris the time I forgot to do my own weighing! I had a long list of items to buy. Most I could puzzle out, but there were a couple of items that Jean had to help me baking powder, baking soda, and yeast. What we decided on is 'levure chimique' for baking powder and 'levure de boulangerie' for yeast. I never found anything resembling baking soda! Checking out is a bit nerve-wracking. There are no bags; you bring your own. You bag your own purchases as well. Then comes my least favorite part...paying! I have a really hard time understanding numbers when they're said, so I always have to see the total amount before I know what I owe. Oh yes, and don't forget...the French really appreciate it when you give them the correct change (or as close as you can come). It's not okay to pay for a 42,41euro purchase with three 20 euro notes or even two 20 euros and a 10 euro note. Often the cashier will ask if you have closer to the correct amount. So, there I am at the check out...obviously an American who doesn't understand French, frantically trying to sack my groceries, figure out what I owe, fumbling for the right notes and correct change, and all the while holding up the line behind me!

The canned tomatoes and some of that lovely Savoy cabbage are currently simmering away on the stove with other soup ingredients. It will be soup, bread, and wine for supper tonight. Remind me to tell you about 'lardons' next time.


  1. That would be a bit nerve-wracking. Next time take some photos of the store for us. :)

    The carts are like that at many stores in Canada as well ... you have to rent them.

  2. I have to say the grocery store looks a whole lot like small grocery stores in the States...not very interesting. They are even laid out much the same with produce, dairy and baked goods around the perimeter and canned goods/packaged foods in the interior. Prices are interesting...candy is VERY expensive; wine and produce are quite reasonable.

  3. Hi Evelyn .. I went there with Jean and Laury too.. love going to the French Supermarkets :-) Please say hello to Jean for me .. great when you can go shopping with her.