Thursday, April 5, 2012

Les Grande Epiceries

The grand epiceries are just that--GRAND!

Fauchon, one of the oldest epiceries in Paris, is located on Place de Madeleine.  We walked through its  two stores looking at the displays but somehow didn't get to the right spot for a picture or two.  The stores, particularly the newer store featuring their candies and chocolates, have become overwhelmingly "touristy" with a lot of the merchandise beautifully packaged for "taking gifts back home."  The locals don't appear to spend much time here.

Fauchon is interesting historically as the shop of kings, politicians and movie stars, well known for its fine tea and "foie gras."  When the French radicals in 1968 wanted to strike at a symbol of decadence, they stormed Fauchon and distributed foie gras to the poor.

So it's on to Hediard just across the street, with its beautiful displays of fresh food, teas and coffees from around the world, cheeses and meats.  You should bring lots of euros to shop here, but they don't charge you for strolling through with your mouth watering.

Hediard's selection of teas on the back wall in large tins, and jellies and jams up front in jars....  the labels are all in bright distinctive red.

chocolate Easter eggs with white stripes... baskets full of tempting goodies....

a dark chocolate Easter monkey??  Looks like the Easter Bunny has competition!!

or a milk chocolate hippo ??????  alas, this guy doesn't quite fit on his pedestal.

coffee beans from all over the world with little identifying maps to help you locate the various coffee producing parts of the world...

the fruit display...

fresh figs in their own little fabric-lined basket....

ahh... the famous French white asparagus!!!!    at 60.00E a kilo!!!!!

...on across the Seine to the Rive Gauche and Le Grand Epicerie of Le Bon Marche.  The original building for Le Bon Marche was designed by Gustave Eiffel in the Art Nouveau style and opened in 1852 as the first department store with an array of merchandise with fixed prices, as opposed to street markets where merchants and customers bargain over the price of goods.  The concept of department stores spread from here all over the world.

Le Grand Epicerie is in a newer building across the street from the original Bon Marche.

shoppers a plenty and choices a plenty....

white asparagus here, too...  We didn't notice the price.

fresh cuts of meat...


"goops" of hot fudge sauce..

vins????  mais oui!!  a votre sante, bien sur!!

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