(En français: épiceries au québec)
One of the most interesting ways to learn about a new place is to wander through a grocery store. You learn how much fresh and local is valued in the rest of the world outside the US and can explore foods unique to the place you’re in.
This post, then, aims to give you a sense of what it’s like to shop for groceries in a small grocery store in a town in the Quebec countryside.
First, most of the labels are in French, so get ready to test out the accuracy of google translate! These are spices, and sometimes you can guess what they other by the subtitles, but maybe not. And the descriptions? Well, make it up by guessing, and write your own ideas of what they’re saying, it’s way more fun that way 🙂
I picked this section of the spices because you might notice they are mostly peppers and other hot spices. Right across the aisle is this display: three rows of hot sauces from Quebec province.
Seriously, I did not know this area was such a hotbed of picante and habenero sauces. Maybe the theory is that the winters are so cold, one needs something hot to warm up the insides?
They have local food, like these carrots. I’m honestly not sure what half the stuff was in this section, including something that resembled big cactus leaves.
Sometimes my high-school French from 45 years ago comes through and I understood without thinking too hard that this was my last chance to grab some local asparagus spears.
I don’t like mustard, but these lovely bottles almost make me want to give it a shot.
This particular grocery store had variety, I’ll give it that. Besides the classic pâtisserie and boulangerie, they also offer fried pork rinds and tortillas. The world has gotten smaller in food – you can find tortillas almost everywhere nowadays. But pork rinds? Not so much, but you can get them here.
And if there is one thing that Quebec shoppers (and eaters) seem to appreciate, it is good chocolate. I’ve rarely seen such a wonderful selection of chocolates as I have at virtually any grocery in the Quebec province. Well done, Quebec!
You really do have to walk through the entire store because all the directional signs are in French. Instead of seeing “crackers, cookies, bread, spices” on a sign at the top of the aisle, it’s a bunch of French words I don’t know. I learned to give up and just walk up and down every aisle (sometimes twice!) until I find everything I need.
I, personally, think there is a really danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture.