Photo Friday: Freezer Shop in Paris

Picard "freezer shop" in Paris
Picard "freezer shop" in Paris

When I think of food in Paris, my mind goes to markets filled with fresh fruit or bakeries packed with pastry that is as beautiful as it is delicious. The reality, though, is that most people don't eat the best of Paris every day. Freezer shops, like this one, sell frozen food exclusively (freezer shops are common throughout Europe, but I saw more in France than anywhere else). It might not be the height of French Gastronomy, but it's fun to wander through and see what's on offer. Instead of frozen Pizza and Lean Cuisine, you'll Sushi, Foie Gras, Artichoke Lasagna and of course all sorts of frozen pastry.

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  1. Nik on April 30, 2009 at 10:49 p.m.

    A lot of people may cringe in horror hearing about frozen foods, but I actually had fond memories of them from my college days. You can't beat a tasty lasagne at US$2 that's filling enough for two! It's not healthy, but.. beggars can't be choosers.. ha~

    I've never tried frozen sushi before.. hmmm..

  2. Peace Mitchell (Australia) on May 1, 2009 at 5:02 a.m.

    How very clinical, organised and efficient! I've never seen a shop completely devoted to frozen food before, I always learn something new when I come here!

  3. Mara Gorman on May 1, 2009 at 5:12 a.m.

    I never have been in one of these shops but I'm crazy for the Monoprix in Paris. Something about being able to buy wine, cellulite cream, and Lu cookies all in the same place....

  4. Dominique on May 1, 2009 at 6:24 a.m.

    I didn't see any of these places when I was in Paris. I'm not so sure about the frozen sushi, either! :lol:

  5. Debbie on May 1, 2009 at 8:20 a.m.

    @nik or cream puffs on demand!

    @mara I love Monoprix too. I'm not sure what it is about that place... there was one a block away from the apartment we stayed in while we were in Paris and I visited almost every day to pick up something. French Pharmacies are also a big draw for me - I'm always sure I'm going to find some miracle cream!

    @dominique apparently much of the raw fish we eat in US Sushi restaurants has been frozen. It's a good way to kill certain parasites without substantially altering the taste of the fish. I don't know about frozen rice though...

  6. Marina K. Villatoro on May 1, 2009 at 8:56 a.m.

    You know frozen food has it's bad and good. However, I've been reading a lot on being more efficient. And they recommend you cook a huge meal and freeze it. So, I would imagine this is a similar concept. I mean, from the sounds of the food they are freezing in here, it's all good!

  7. Debbie on May 1, 2009 at 9:09 a.m.

    Yep, I've been freezing up a storm getting ready for baby. Not every dish freezes well, but bit by bit I'm building up a pretty good variety for us to work through in those first sleepless months!

  8. wandermom on May 1, 2009 at 9:44 a.m.

    Aha! That explains why my Seattle-based French friends are huge fans of the freezer dept at Trader Joes!

  9. Debbie on May 1, 2009 at 9:55 a.m.

    It's those onion and Gruyere pizzas. mmmmmm

    (also the frozen chocolate croissants)

  10. amida on May 1, 2009 at 10:24 a.m.

    Do you mean they are shops full of just frozen food? How interesting! That brings to mind a small shop I've been to in San San Francisco -- it is lined with freezers full of handmade dumplings!

  11. Marina K. Villatoro on May 1, 2009 at 7:48 p.m.

    Good luck with your baby and the freezing:) Pasta sauces, meatballs, creamy dishes freeze really well.

  12. jen laceda on May 3, 2009 at 5:26 p.m.

    I'm in Paris right now and tried to hunt down a freezer store (just for fun), but can't find one. You have quite the eye to hunt down such curiosities.

    We just took our 2 y.o. to the Louvre today (1st Sunday of the month free), and it's really quite an advantage to have a child with you. We rolled past everyone in the line up, thanks to the guards.

    Also, we found most cafes or restaurants (the neighbourhood hangout kinda places) very accommodating to children--a far cry from the Paris of 10-15 years ago when snooty waiters would bar someone with a stroller.

    Thanks for all your tips,

  13. Kelly on July 1, 2009 at 3:18 a.m.

    Picard! It's the chain of freezer shop that is pictured above. I can't say that I've ever seen any others. I love their 4 cheese pizzas and crème brûlée . They have stores all over Europe

  14. melanie on August 21, 2011 at 10:48 p.m.

    As someone who lives near France (in a country that has very limited take out and restaurants that don't open until 7.00), with two young children -- Picard is a LIFESAVER!!! It has lovely food, everything I've had from there is great and I just can't say enough great things about it. Yummy! Whenever I rent a house in France, I checkout where the nearest Picard is and stock up for the week so I don't have to cook! Awesome!