Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Trip to the Left Bank

I had to do some errands on the other side of town last week, and I ended up wandering around La Grande Epicerie, the upscale supermarket inside the lovely Bon Marche department store in the 7th arrondissement (bon marche actually means "cheap" or "good value" - most definitely NOT the case in this instance!). It's a clean, well-lighted place, with such good old-fashioned staples as violet-flavored sugar, rose petal jam, and salt that was harvested under a full moon. There is also a rather extensive (uh, make that expensive) American foods section, displaying the culinary delights that made a nation (obese): Oreos, Swiss Miss, Jiffy-Pop, marshmallow Fluff. I toyed with the idea of buying some buttermilk pancake mix, but at 6 euros a box I decided I could wait until I was back in the land of I-Hop, where I can get all the starchy, gluten-filled things I want for cheap. Then I remembered that I don't really like pancakes, and the only time I've ever made them in fact was once in Paris when I was homesick for American brunch. Funny how living outside your country makes you nostalgic for things you never really liked when you lived there (like American politics).

In the end, I bought some baking soda, which is hard to find in the average French supermarket, and a bottle of good Spanish olive oil, and some dark baking chocolate to use in a non-dairy truffle recipe I've wanted to try for ages. And 20 euros poorer, I made my way back to the Right Bank....


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