Much has been written about French food, from the classic “French women don’t get fat” mystery to haute cuisine drool-worthy cookbooks.

Indeed, French cuisine has a long and rich history, and the French certainly love eating, drinking, shopping for food and talking about it. But tourists may be shocked to see locals don’t always eat fancy stuff.

Markets. French actually go to the market, not just to buy meat, fruits and veggies but also to buy deli food, including world cuisine specialties. Even Saint Michel’s tiny weekly market around the church features “Asian food,” i.e. a third-generation Vietnamese selling spring rolls and riz cantonais (fried rice). I noticed that Indian food is getting popular, as well as delicacies from the French Islands, such as accras de morue (breaded cod).

The French seem to be discovering a few American staple treats, such as bagels, donuts and muffins, now available in many bakeries (and invariably more expensive than your basic butter croissant). This is fairly new in Nantes—when I was a kid, the only “American” treats we had were brownies. There are also many burger joints, all claiming to be “100% French” and fancier than McDonald’s. They are certainly more expensive!

Sandwiches, panini (toasted sandwiches), kebabs and “américains” (half a baguette filled with burger patties, fries and mayonnaise) and always popular. Sorry, no one has foie gras for lunch.

French supermarkets are also interesting: they invariably feature a huge “wine and alcohol” section, and one or two aisles are dedicated to dairy products such as yogurts and crèmes and cheese. Oh, and the milk is not refrigerated.

Finally, you’d be surprised by the number of bars in Nantes. I think there is one in every block, at least!

French Market
French Market
French Market
French Market
French Market
French Market
French Market
French Market
French Market
French Market
French Market
French Market
Bottled Water in a French Supermarket
Bottled Water in a French Supermarket
Yogurts in a French Supermarket
Yogourts in a French Supermarket
Baguettes in a French Supermarket
Baguettes in a French Supermarket
Milk in a French Supermarket
Milk in a French Supermarket
French Deli
French Deli
French Fast Food Joint
French Fast Food Joint
French Fast Food Joint
French Fast Food Joint
French Fast Food Joint
French Fast Food Joint
Bagels in Nantes
Bagels in Nantes
French Fast Food Joint
French Fast Food Joint
Convenience Store Selling Beer
Convenience Store Selling Beer
Strawberries at the Market
Strawberries at the Market
French Brasserie
French Brasserie
Supermarket Ad for Ice Creams
Supermarket Ad for Ice Creams
French Breakfast in a Bar in Nantes
French Breakfast in a Bar in Nantes
"La Cigale", One of Nantes' Oldest Restaurants
“La Cigale”, One of Nantes’ Oldest Restaurants
French Bar
French Bar
French Bar
French Bar
French Bar
French Bar
French Bar
French Bar
French Bar
French Bar
Crêpes in Saint Michel
Crêpes in Saint Michel
Crêpes in Saint Michel
Crêpes in Saint Michel

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7 Comments

  1. Holly Nelson July 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Great to see inside a French supermarkets in a vey housewife making comparisons kind of way! French women don’t get fat do they?!

    Reply
    1. Zhu July 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Yes, they do. Oh they do… I would know, I’m French! 😆

      Reply
  2. Cynthia July 24, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Beurk UHT milk! I can’t believe most French families drink that, fresh milk tastes much better!

    Reply
    1. Zhu July 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      I don’t drink milk, so I really can tell. But I find UHT milk more convenient, for sure!

      Reply
  3. I Say Oui July 29, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I love these food posts. Can’t say putting a burger patty on a baguette makes it American, ha ha.

    Reply
  4. Julien July 30, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Arghhhh Yogourts… ! When I go to Metro or Loblaws, I miss the numerous flavors, styles and tastes that we can find in France. And Danette… I never found something like this in Canada 😉 I tried Jello but wasn’t really convinced ! Anyway, thanks for sharing your supermarket adventures ! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Zhu August 1, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      You should try “Snack Pack”, I find it tastes like Mont Blanc. It’s better than nothing! Believe it or not, there are more kinds of yogourt than when I first came here, ten years ago.

      Reply

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