The Corner Grocer

This little neighborhood market is right out side the front gate to our apartment. It's really a quick trip for any last minute shopping from anywhere in Limours. What makes it ideally located are all the other stores located in the Market/Town Square.

Mr. Aroug Jilali carries nearly everything and in sufficient supplies so that weekly shopping for staples is really possible and easily accomplished. (What makes it easier is not having to find a parking space in France.) He even has a decent supply of chocolates! Another bonus point for Mr. Aroug Jilali is when I need something that I can't find it anywhere else all I need do is to mention it to him and he will have it there in the next day or two. I didn't understand that at first. I would enter and say a simple word for something; 'champignons' (mushrooms) for example, and the next time I would enter the store it would be there in quanity. It was a misunderstanding on my part, I thought of Alimentation Générale as the 7-11 of Limours. It is not. It is so much more!

When we first moved here this is the first shop I entered. Mr. Aroug Jilali was friendly and quite kind while trying to understand my stumbling French. Actually, my French is a disaster so he is saintly in his patience with me.

One of the services he offers is delivery. You can probably see that right on the awning of his store front. About 10 months ago I had a surgery that incapacitated me for months. During that time Mr. Aroug offered to bring me anything I desired with just a simple phone call to him. Well, this is a service he provides to any citizen living in Limours. We can just give him a call with our list, or drop the list off, and he will deliver. I usually buy my leeks, avocados, and onions from him because he doesn't mind that I touch and select the fruits and vegetables for myself. If you are an American reading this, that previous statement may sound strange but it is one of the cultural difference that I should explain.

As you may already know, in the USA it is quite customary for us shoppers to judge and select the fresh produce to buy but that is just not the way it is done in France. In France you tell the proprietor or staff what it is that you want and they will get it for you. They will question you about your choice also. They will want to know when you are going to use it, for example. Quite handy information for something like an avocado. I suppose that this custom prevents the bruising of the produce and the 'taste sampling' that occurs otherwise. I know I have seen customers pushing their carts through the larger grocery and green markets in the USA while they 'taste sample' certain fruits. So this self-selecting of the fresh produce is not something I would ever do at the green market here in France. I must confess though, that I am really very pleased that M. Aroug Jilali allows me to select my own produce without an insult to him. After all, selecting produce and meats is culmination of lessons I learned from my dad and grandparents. It indulges the homesickness that besets me sometimes.

It is also note worthy that this provisioner has expanded his lines of table wines since I have known him. The price ranges are from quite economical, 4 - 9€ is the average price. My personal favorite is the Medoc. It is a strong and heavy wine, very fruity. A strong Italian or Tex-Mex or a red meat dish are only enhanced by Medoc. You really should try it.

There is always one little thing to remember when you go shopping in the little country stores while in France and that is to bring your shopping basket. Oh, and a bank card also helps. You may not be aware but the EU has coins that are about 1/2 the size of an American penny. You really don't want a pocket full of those (you'll never get rid of them).

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