Au Supermarché [Secret Life of an Expat]

You can learn a lot about a place from its supermarket, and when I first got to France I was overwhelmed by the sprawling, two story store that sold not just a narrow selection of food, but televisions, computers, appliances, clothing, DVDs, car tires, and toys. The selection of food, in my opinion, is rather limited. This is for several reasons, I believe. First, the produce section mainly concerns itself with products that are in season. Most of our citrus comes from Spain, for two weeks in September we were overrun with grapes, and right now litchis are the hot item, coming in by the boatload from Madagascar. But for the most part, the products are pretty run of the mill. For France. I was surprised when I noticed that a package of a dozen QUAIL EGGS were a regular item. These are about half the size of medium chicken eggs. For now, just enjoy how pretty they are, and look for a future installment where I figure out what to do with Quail Eggs. It seems so undignified to sell prepared French dishes in a can, but they do. Especially Cassoulet, which is a slow cooked casserole from the south of France that’s made with white beans, some form of meat (goose confit in the photo) and pig skin. Confit means that the, most likely, legs of the goose have been cooked in goosefat, and then left to cool and preserved in the same fat. There are more cans of marinated mackerel filets than tuna in the canned fish aisle, and an equivalent number of sardine products.¬† Do you put it on salad? My grandmother served me tripe once in my life and I will never, ever get over it. Walking by packages...