Monday, July 27, 2009

I Love Picard

Before moving to Paris I remember someone telling me about the good frozen food that France had to offer without any further elaboration. At the time I thought it was pretty bizzare feedback especially considering all of the other great things France and Paris have to offer. I filed that information away and went on my merry way.

When I finally arrived in Paris and got settled in my apartment I would pass in front of a store named Picard each day as I either entered or exited the metro. During my first 6 months in Paris I had no idea what the store was or what they sold. And while I was curious to know what was inside behind their sliding doors I never dared to enter because of the sterile looking interiors. Not to mention that at the time I had no idea what the word surgelé meant. It wasn't until friend of mine started raving to me about the goodness that is Picard did I garner up the courage to venture inside to see what they had to offer and that was a turning point for me.

Picard is like the mecca of frozen foods. Picard is the single guy and gal's best friend. The friend that turned me on to Picard actually refers to it as her boyfriend. What makes the place so amazing is that you can find almost anything in frozen form and ready to be cooked with zero prep time and the best part is that it actually tastes good. Picard is light years ahead of it's closest US competitor in terms of quality, taste and product variety. You could actually prepare dinner for an entire dinner party by stocking up at Picard and no one would be the wiser as long as your tossed out the evidence before your guests arrived.

Fast forward to yesterday when I was talking to some friends about the quality of food in France and naturally the topic turned to Picard. One friend who's only been in Paris for 3 months mentioned that she's never been to a Picard and wasn't even sure what it was. Because I had once been in her shoes and am still grateful to my friend for opening my eyes I let her in on the secret by going on and on about how good Picard is. She gave me a skeptical look as I talked and she didn't seem fully convinced at the time. Maybe I should have told her that the cashiers are known for actually bagging one's groceries as well unlike most French supermarkets. I'm not concernerd however because I'm pretty sure curiosity will drive her into the store and thus will begin another American's love affair with Picard.

9 comments:

Isabelle said...

Very nice post!
I'm a big Picard fan. I buy a lot there, but people still think that frozen food is for lazy people and/or isn't good enough for your health compared to fresh food.
Which isn't true of course. Some studies have proved that there were more vitamins in frozen fruits and vegetable than in the ones you've bought at the market and left in your fridge for a few days...

Justin said...

I *heart* Picard!
Thanks for reminding me that I need to stop tonight and stock up on some goodies. :)

wcs said...

"Picard is light years ahead...

hehe.

It's a heck of an "enterprise." It goes where no frozen food store has gone before. It's run by Geordi LaNorge, you know.

Stop me now...

Nay said...

holy crap, Picard is truly the bomb dot com. When I was living in Paris, the French ladies I knew swore by their macarons and frozen pasta.

Makes Trader Joe's frozen section look like shit in comparison.

Anonymous said...

everything there is loaded with preservatives!!! now let's see how you'll continue raving about it...

edmundchristian@hotmail.com

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Now that I'm back in the US after 3 years in Paris, one of the things I miss most on a daily basis is Picard. All of my French and expat friends were absolute Picard die-hards. Some of them, however, wouldn't let their husbands know, and hid the boxes. Picard is the best. I too avoided the stores for a while, thinking they were medical labs. Then I got my Picard insulated bag and never looked back.

Leesa said...

I can't believe that Edmund Christian (anonymous) just said that everything is loaded up with CONDOMS!!!! OMG!! I never knew!!!

Anonymous said...

As one American living in France, I married a Frenchman, had a daughter and am here for life...sigh. I love Picard. We have Picard Thanksgiving. It saves me time and I just pop that stuff in the oven and go. L.O.V.E. it. The quality of food is exceptional. Let me tell ya.

Lauren said...

Oh Picard! I was in Paris for a year and while Picard wouldn't be my first choice of "French foods I could have in the US with a magical snap of my fingers," I definitely LOVED their potages and a lovely side we liked to refer to as "duck fat potatoes." It's a pretty helpful place if the kitchen in your tiny chambre de bonne only has one burner and no oven too! (And Edmund...sadly, loaded with preservatives is normal for us Americans - except our frozen foods in the US are loaded with preservatives AND taste like crap. Double score!)

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