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Five reasons to love French supermarkets

Tuesday 30 September 2014

My God, do I love a French supermarket. I may adore ambling through the actual markets, or starting the day in a patisserie, but there's something about the hypermarché that gets my tummy all of a quiver. 

And here's why...

1. The Wine
Oh, the wine. When I spent a week in Bordeaux this June, the first thing we did was hop to the hypermarché to stock up on le vin. Actually, we wanted to do it at a nearby 'petrol pump', where you could fill a 10 litre bottle to the brim with the local vintage. But, despite a week of trying, we never found it. So we stuck to the humble supermarket, where you can find amazingly good quality wine for a quarter of what you'd pay at home. I favoured a very pale rosé, which matched perfectly with the sunny days and miles of bread. I think it was about €3. 

2. The Treats
When I was a kid, it was all about Milka and Netle Crunch. Even though you can get these everywhere now (and is it just me, or do they taste a little off at home?) they're still the ones I plump for when in France. And don't get me started on the Regal'ad. These chewy little sweets are a little French HEAVEN in flavours like cherry, lemon and raspberry. I always stock up. And Carambars! Mmm.

3. The Fresh Produce

OK, it's not all wine and sugar. I also love the fresh fruit and veg you can pick up. Though, I should admit, it's got nothing to do with the stock (which is actually far better in the local markets or greengrocers). It's all about this...

...Where you weigh your produce, choose which one you have and stick your own label on. I. Love. This. If you could do this in Ireland, I would be fit as a fool.

4. The Butter
Specifically, the salted butter, which comes complete with huge crystals of sea salt and makes most salted butters look like little tiny wimps.

5. The Cheese
Where else can you see such a well stocked and never ending cheese cabinet? You can pick up a wheel of camembert for next to nothing, and there's always a huge variety of almost anything you could wish for. Of course, you can always go to the fromagerie, but it's nice to know there's plenty of the good stuff when you're in with the big guys.

Vive le France!


  1. I must confess that whenever I go back to France I make sure to visit at least one hypermarché. For all the reasons you listed, specifically the chocolate department. But when it comes to actual grocery shopping I try and stay clear of big stores because all the choice is a bit overwhelming for me :)

    1. You're right, Raphaele! But it's also lovely to do all your shopping between the little places too. Getting your bread in the boulangerie, meat in the butchers, I love it!

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