elb's hovel of thoughts

Sunday, February 12, 2006

La Pascalou French Grocery Store / Stuffed Crab

Everyday when I would take the bus, I would pass by numerous Italian and French delicatessens, restaurants and grocers. I would usually stare longingly out there, imagining myself sampling some of that lovely food, but due to laziness never got around to it. In fact, there are very few, if any, fast food restaurants around parts of Fulham and South Kensington (with the exception of perhaps Gloucester Road). This I attribute to the French loathing of anything that closely resembles a piece (or two)of processed beef slapped between cheap buns with servings of calorie laden carbonated drinks and deep fried julienned potatoes, otherwise known as chips (or French fries, if you must).

This changed when I decided to walk back in the name of exercise. Okay well, I did it so that I could strike off the treadmill routine when I would hit the gym later along the way, but that's another story. I decided to check out some of those stores out of curiosity, and because I was bored of the food that I was having (did I mention that I like French food and Italian food?). I came across an Italian grocer which was sadly closed. Or at least it appeared to be, but I didn't bother to find out. This was because the French grocer next door, Le Pascalou was open! With plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit laid on tables on the very generous pavement. Very tempting, with some good prices for certain goods, but perhaps next time. I went in, looked around, and was promptly attended to.

I asked for escargots, and she showed me to them. Unfortunately they did not have any canned ones which I was looking for to use with my planned pasta dish. Nevertheless being a fan of those slimy ones I put my very rusty French (what little I had picked up while I was travelling in Belgium two years prior having deteriorated) to the test:

'Un dozen escargot'
'Un dozen?' she repeated with a nod.
'Sil vous plait'

I continued to look around. I was intriguied by the variety of juices they had on sale - these were not your ordinary run of your mill concentrate juices. In fact, they looked like the whole fruit was blended and squished into the glass bottles; it was easily half filled with cloudy sediment the consistency of some sort of jelly (the precise type of which eludes me now). I decided to buy a small bottle of pineapple juice for £1. It tasted a sharp sour with notes of sweetness, which is not how I like my pineapple juice!

I also managed to grab 5 pieces of fresh squid (roughly 250g) from the fish section for a price of around £4, not too shabby. I can't honestly compare this with the true price of squid at supermarkets because they usually sell you frozen pieces (which means you pay for all that ice & is not terribly fresh), but it seems to be not too bad a price. And one of the best purchases I have gotten in quite a while:

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Stuffed crab shell, with premium claw meat in the middle, with parsley flanking it and crab roe

Also grabbed some other random stuff. Next time I'm going to go for some fromage (that's cheese), duck rilette and their precooked scallops thingajig, which looks very tempting!

'Thank you for coming!'
'Merci beaucoup!'

Remember the crab earlier? Exceptional value! I mean look at this:

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It was choke full of delicious smashing crab roe! Absolutely pert!

p.s. I'll take some pictures of the place next time round.

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