When my kids were younger, I used to go to the grocery store on the weekends and spend an hour looking at all the small jars of things on higher shelves that I didn’t have time to see during the week when I rushed in to grab a box of this, a bag of that, a carton of that other thing. My husband found a comic that fit me perfectly…a mom caught in the act of wasting time perusing products and allowing others in line ahead of her all in order to have some time alone. But my love of supermarkets goes deeper than just wasting time; it goes back to a small, local chain that was rebranded from Queen Ann Thriftway to Metropolitan Market. It was the first beautiful grocery store I ever shopped and I was in love. Everything was so plump and fresh and interesting, and of course, well, expensive. But that was part of the fun.
And while there are really good supermarkets in just about every city–Metropolitan Market and Haggen in the Northwest US, Edeka in Germany and Carrefour in France, there are markets nestled in pockets of the world that most of us never visit that are truly magnificent. Ka De We in Berlin, Dean and DeLuca in New York and now Galleries Lafayette in Paris. I read about Galleries Lafayette in a fun book given to us by my sister-in-law, Food Trails, and while most of the references in Paris are centered on sweets and Patisséries, there are some gems in there that meet every interest. And this is one. (None of the following are my own images. I was too enthralled to stop and photograph.)
Galleries Lafayette is very similar to Ka De We in Berlin: multiple stories or destinations that meet every interest and range from clothes to housewares to accessories to, of course, food. There we found the most magnificent looking produce, elegant selections of cheese, counters of prepared things like ravioli and moussaka and salads and of course macaroons and éclairs. Yum-o. I was in heaven.
Today, we met a friend who lives in an outer neighborhood, Asnières, and she asked what I thought about the clothes. Secretly–or not-so-secretly, I think–she wants a companion to attend the Christian Dior exhibition with her. However, I had to confess to her that I never saw the clothes. The food was all I needed. Jams. Yogurts in flavors we never see in the US. Cured meats. Spreads. Pastries. Macaroons.