This is not completely unfounded and chances are, you already know – local supermarket is one of the best places to go when travelling.
The goods that sit on the shelves or the food displayed in the multi-deck open coolers … they are the things that tell as much stories about the local as the grubby artefacts you see in museums.
Like the Japanese’ fascination with everything green tea-ed, the American bucket-sized red velvet ice-cream and the amount of radish and cabbage you’d find in a Korean trolley, food reflects cultures, habits and a nation’s identity.
I think the French and their love for chocolate warrants a blog post.
I often felt weak at the knees when glided past the dry food section in Monoprix, Carrefour or Auchan.
These little ones just wouldn’t behave themselves and sit docilely on the shelves. They would stare at you with puppy eyes and let out little whimpers of beseech, eliciting compassion and love until you are so hypnotized, your self-control crumble and your hands reach out to them in the gentlest manner.
Then, voilà! Before you know it, you have chosen them over your New Year’s Resolution and swiped your card at the till. How to live happily ever after is now entirely your own business.
If you’re also a chocolate enthusiast, you may want to scroll further and say hello to these little devils sold at the supermarkets in France:
You think double stuff oreo is your last calling until they come up with THIS.
Milka XXL Chocolate Bar Oreo Sandwich.
Consider my love for Oreo revolutionised.
And his cousins, Milka in Colors and Milka with caramel and hazelnut
Also, guess who I met at the beverage section?
The newer, smoother and richer Milka hot chocolate with caramel.
Tassimo coffee pots in Carambar and Oreo flavours (!!!) The regret was not buying myself a £50 Tassimo coffee machine. Couldn’t find a more appropriate adjective to go with regret, except “lifetime”.
If you think the cereal section will let you off, you are wrong.
(Top) Fitness cereal with chocolate and hazelnut, (bottom) Kellogs, Fitness and Jordans cereal all in dark chocolate. Oh, the beautiful things in life. Jordans even come in 70% cacao. I really wonder why people initiate wars.
I remember the first time I had the Jordans dark chocolate cereal I vowed to grow old in my breakfast bowl. And because I was told that sharing is caring, my brother is now the involuntary victim.
Mikado is what Pocky is called in Europe. It’s the same chocolate-coated biscuit sticks produced by Glico and popular in Asia. As intellectual property law differs from one country to another, it is not uncommon to see products being renamed when they are shipped across borders.
Fun fact: Pocky was forced to rename as “Rocky” in Malaysia to avoid it sounding too similar to “pork” or the female private organ!
These chocolatey variations of Mikado/Pocky are unrivalled. My favourite is the green one in praline flavour.
If you see chocolate biscuits from LU, buy. Buy to your heart’s content. This is not a friendly advice, but a very very constructive suggestion.
70% of the stuff above are new and recently launched in the market. This is obviously not an exhaustive list so I am sure to come back with more. I can’t share any of them with you so I will finish this post today with a short list of French vocabs to help you with your shopping.
nouveau = new
chocolat au lait = milk chocolate. Likewise, “café au lait” means coffee with milk
chocolat noir = dark chocolate
noisettes = hazelnut
amande = almond (Don’t confuse with “allemand” please. Allemand is German)
sans sucre = without sugar
It is unlikely that you’ll encounter the last one on a chocolate wrapper. So the sole reason of its existence is to show off my French.
With love x