To kick off the Paris Diaries, I thought I’d start at the basics – supermarket shopping. Whether you’re staying for a weekend or a couple of months, there’s going to be a moment during your trip in Paris that you’re going to need to pick up food, drink or snacks from a supermarket. My favourite is Bio c’ Bon, or “organic is good” in English. I’m yet to see a wholly organic supermarket in the UK (but perhaps that’s because I live in central Birmingham) but these places are surprisingly large and offer a huge range of fresh produce, refrigerated goods, store-cupboard favourites as well as cheese and meat counters, aromatherapy, cooking equipment and baby food.
One of my favourite things about the shops is that all of those that I’ve been in offer cereals, pulses, beans and certain pastry goods in large vats instead of surgically packaged in plastic in random amounts. This low-impact way of vending produce is a real step forward in being environmentally friendly, and the kid inside me is always excited to use the dispensers because they’re like an adult pick ‘n’ mix!
As well as the goods being completely organic, they are seasonally-based too (although this is quite common with fresh groceries in most supermarkets across Paris). This means you don’t even need to consult a seasonal guide to find out which fruits and veggies will be the most nutritious and tasty while shopping.
The other great thing about these supermarkets is that they’re pretty popular across France, not just Paris, with over 60 shops across the country (you can see where your nearest one is here if you’re destined to visit the Hexagon anytime soon!).
My favourite find while there was a big bottle of kombucha tea, which I drank throughout my stay (along with tap water – I’m pretty sure the bottled water rule does not apply when visiting most European countries). I hope to see it in shops here soon too, as I really do enjoy the clean feeling that it gives, although buying it from local producers will always guarantee its freshness! I wish there was some kind of kombucha tea delivery service or café nearby…