Friday, March 07, 2008

Grocery Store Maven Goes to Monoprix

Monoprix is like Trader Joe's meets Safeway. It has a small 'ethnic aisles' like the Shaw's of my college days, including one for Italian food. In another, you'll find coconut milk, tortillas, and peanut butter on the same two shelves.

For Chinese New Year, a seasonal aisle was chock-full of Vietnamese rice paper rolls and nori and nothing discernably 'Chinese.'

Monoprix, being a French grocery, has an extraordinary yogurt aisle, butter collection and four grades of cheese: regular packaged, a gourmet package, a just-cut-from-across-the-way fromager package, and a fromager. These are in four different locations in the store.

Like Trader Joe's, Monoprix doesn't seem to have the same inventory each week. They also seem to add new sections frequently - this past week I saw an all-bio (organic) vegetable section with some of the saddest plastic-encased vegetables I've seen. The same refrigeration weirdness that has tofu underneath zucchini at Safeway has cranberries by prepared salads and a fancy citron yogurt that I like hidden next to pre-made sandwiches here in Paris.

This week I explored an aisle I'd never paid much attention to. I imagine it's the Cocktail Aisle (or apero for aperitif). I turned from picking up honey for my Cream of Wheat and saw the display small packages with yummy treats that seemed perfect for a PMS week. My favorites: cheese puffs in a small package so they don't get stale and Pringles-like paprika chips.

We don't have any plans with friends for an apero over here any time soon, but I figured it'd be good to be ready - and by ready, I mean to have sampled them before I put them out there for guests.

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