Originally uploaded by jmichaeli.
In most of Europe, actually in ALL of Europe, they don't buy groceries as we do - one trip and stock up for the entire week.
Instead, they prefer fresh and fresher. They actually buy only what they need for a day or two. There are larger grocery stores like FrancePrix and MonoPrix, but they are no where near the size we have in the US.
The way that most people buy food is at markets like the one above - Mouffetard. It is a long narrow rue with many, many stores each a specialty with the freshest ingredients. You pick your favorite(s) and become a "regular." You can even buy your entire dinner completely cooked so that it is warm or you just have to warm it when you get home.
There are other markets, some open daily, and others on certain days of the week. Rue Cler is the market made famous by Rick Steves in his shows on public television stations.
Everyone should have the experience of visiting a foriegn country and not just on a tour. It should be on your own to discover what other cultures are like. Though it points out many differences, it shows that...
we are all alike in our differences...