Greetings from Paris where everyone is getting ready for New Year’s Eve or le réveillon as it’s called here. The French are busy stocking up on all their traditional indulgences–champagne, foie gras, oysters, smoked salmon, and bûches de Noel — to welcome 2014. I joined in the fray at La Grande Epicerie in the Bon Marché department store on Paris’s Left Bank, and was blown away by the gorgeous renovation this super deluxe food store has undergone. How many groceries do you know that have 3 floors and a soaring domed ceiling with a sun roof!
The food, displayed in themed settings, looks like it’s ready for a movie set. There’s a foie gras counter, a smoked salmon stand, and la crémerie which offers unctuous, calorie-laden creams from France’s countryside. And, of course, there are countless cheeses, all seemingly with pedigrees.
Fish–especially shell fish–are on everyone’s menu list, and so there are gorgeous arrangements of oysters, lobsters, scallops, shrimp, as well as other crustaceans and bivalves in the poissonerie!
It wouldn’t be a celebration without sweet endings. Although there is an array of pastries to seduce you, bûches de noel are definitely the sentimental favorite. They come in myriad flavors, hues, and sizes.
The entire lower floor is devoted to wines, liqueurs, and other spirits. Their livers are the last thing on the minds of Parisians when they ring in the new year!
Happy New Year–Bonne Année 2014!
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