Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day Trip to Calais

I took advantage of a special half price deal on the EuroTunnel today and went on a day trip to the Auchan supermarket in Calais. This is not any special type of French supermarket, just the equivalent of one of our large chains. What struck me was the sheer quality in not only their fresh produce, but in everything else! What on earth has the British consumer been putting up with at home for all these years! A spectacular tray of beefsteak tomatoes!
Fresh and beautiful endive!! ( I love this!)
and of course, saucisson, salami, of every shape and description. Formidable!!
Matron came home with a carful of goodies, here are just a few bits of booty. Gruyere cheese, mirabelles in syrup, artichoke hearts, dijon mustard, salsifis (I love salsifis, it deserves a blog post all to itself..), hearts of palm, pollen pellets, pate de Campagne... Bon apetite Matron!

19 Comments:

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Chicken lover said...

How jealous am I that you can 'nip' over the channel, lol. Would love to pick up some French cheeses and pates, yum.
Just looking at the pics made me drool.........
Jane

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Bob said...

Looks to me like lots of good stuff there Matron.

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Those pics remind me why I don't like English food! I'm sure the French poor existed on as bad a diet as the British, yet they seem to have managed to keep in touch with decent food somehow.

 
At 2:17 AM, Blogger KatieLovesDogs said...

Wow. I must admit that I am feeling a bit culinarily inadequate and jealous ;)

 
At 3:51 AM, Blogger Dan said...

It would be cool to be able to just catch a train to France! Sure there is lots to see here in North America but certainly not France :-)

 
At 7:42 AM, Anonymous Damo said...

Auchan puts our supermarkets and more accurately our supermarket buying habits to shame, I was amazed at the amount of fresh produce particularly fish/shellfish compared to the pitifully small selection at our local supermarket. But that's what the French public demand and they get great food and choice.

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi Matron, what a varied selection and certainly Bon appetite to you! The selection of fresh veg and fish always amazes me, we here in Ireland are an island surrounded by sea like yourselves but our diet of fresh fish is minimal.I wonder did you check labels to see what was imported or grown in and around france, not imported from China & Peru etc?

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger Jo said...

Looks like you have some interesting things there. You only have to look at the markets to see the difference in quality of the fresh produce on offer. Our's doesn't compare.

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger Nome said...

Wow! I wouldn't even know what to do with most of that stuff!

Surprised you got on the EuroTunnel (especially a special offer), what with all the flights grounded - I thought they'd be all booked up!

 
At 10:39 PM, Blogger Shiny New Allotment Holder said...

Tastiest tomato I ever ate was one I bought from a market in Nice last year. No idea of the variety, but I saved some seed am am giving it a go this year.

 
At 4:26 PM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

Beautiful haul! What a fun outing ... and delicious too!

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Alex T said...

Salsify in a tin, that is either sacriligious or genius - not sure which, but either way typically French, how civilised they are. Which reminds me I was given salsify and scorzonera seed and I still haven't got around to planting them yet. I'm afraid that all the supermarkets up here in the North East seem to think we only want to buy cheap lager and microwave crap. I miss living down the road from Portobello market and Ladbroke Grove Sainsbury's.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Wild Mood Swings said...

What are Pollen Pellets ?

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Greenmantle said...

Hi Matron,

I have new plot at last, after nearly 3 years, and "Dig for Victory" lives again!
www.digforvictory.blogspot.com

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Shailaja said...

A day trip to another country to shop! How exciting! I don't think I've heard of pollen pellets before. What are they?

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Pollen pellets are just what it says on the tin (jar). I suppose it might be the pollen which is filtered out in the purifying honey process. I sprinkle it on breakfast cereal, or sometimes in cake mix. Tastes of honey, I assume it might do me good somehow, but don't know for sure. It tastes interesting!

 
At 5:34 AM, Blogger Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Some tasty fare indeed. Happy eating!

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Marian(LondonUK) said...

Bonjour Matron, it's an eye opener isn't it. Sad though because there are great local cheese producers and apple grower etc., here and it doesn't get in to our Supermarkets. I am always struck by the quality and the huge lovely lettuces. Re Pollet Pellets we had a bee keeper give a talk at our AGM it is Propolis, a thickish residue that the bees produce to block up gaps in the hive it is anti-bacterial apparently and the colour depends of what the Bees have recently collected. Great Blog as ever.
Marian(LondonUK)

 
At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Molly said...

Those tomatoes look the the Italian heirloom variety Costoluto. I grew them successfully last year and the flavor was spectacular. Let me know if you'd like some seeds.

 

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