several types of potatoes in a French shop

image: Potatoes in a French shop

|| 25 August 2021

Food Shopping in France

Of course, a chief reason to visit France is to eat good French food. Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat has been shopping regularly in the French shops and markets to prepare her own French meals. She sent this comment about food shopping in France:

It’s usual here, when shopping for food, not to be specific as to the cut of meat or type of potato, but rather to specify the dish you plan to create. So it’s “lamb, for a navarin” or “potatoes for chips” please. Then comes the big question: “For how many people ?” You supply the answer. Your supplier presents you with what he deems the correct amount, cocks his head, and asks “More?”. Something tells you you’d better say no.

And you come away with 375 grams of meat for two people.

To translate 375 grams into ounces more familiar to Americans, that is 13.23 ounces — or 0.83 pound. That would provide each of two people with a serving of lamb that is 0.4 (4/10 ths) pound per serving. Less than 1/2 pound per person.

Since a navarin is a traditional French lamb stew made with a generous quantity of vegetables: onions, peas, turnips, carrots, and potatoes, the 0.4 pounds per serving would not be much below what is considered a serving of lamb in a stew in the USA — even for “too much is never enough” Americans.

And why should a someone shopping in a French shop be careful not to override the shopkeeper’s suggestion? Simply because that would insult the shopkeeper's expertise. Then, you would no longer get good service in that shop — and, in the case of a butcher, good meat.

A little later Kat emailed this additional French food shopping comment:

Apropos my last email: in the U.K., potatoes are labelled King Edwards, Maris Pipers etc. In France by what you intend to use them for. Much more convenient.

As you can see in the photo above she included with her comment, the bag labeled “vapeur” would indicate for steaming. The bag to the right would seem to indicate for including in a stew.

Merci, Kat, for the French shopping info and photo.

|| 22 August 2021

Chic and Slim Parisiennes

Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat is in France visiting and shopping in an area that sees a lot of weekend visitors from Paris. She has sent photos of chic Parisiennes to assure us that they are still chic and slim. And to show us what these chic Parisiennes wear for shopping on a casual weekend. (Merci, Kat) More . . .