Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
rmockler

Food Prices in France

Recommended Posts

Hello France Forum!

In May, I will be spending a week near Poitiers, cooking for 19-20 people. I have a reasonable budget, but am now a bit worried it's not quite reasonable enough without some very careful planning.

I have searched on line (in English and French, which I can both read and mangle, if not exactly speak) for information on current food prices, but am not having much luck with specifics. ("HIGH!" is the answer I regularly find, b/w "RISING!")

Might I impinge on anyone living in the region, or really anywhere in France outside Paris, to give me a sense of what prices are like for the basics -- eggs, bread, butter, basic meat cuts, chicken, vegies at the market. Or -- to point me to a good site where I can find same?

Any insights you have would be greatly appreciated!


Richard W. Mockler

Seattle

I will, in fact, eat anything once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think food prices in France can be high. They can also vary greatly depending on where you shop.

Tonight, I bought pasterized milk (not steralized) at Champion and it was 1.25, while it was only 1€ for the same brand at Monoprix. A dozen "label rouge" eggs at Monoprix were €2.10.

I will try to list more prices soon.

There has been much talk recently that prices have risen significantly, beyond the standard cost of living.

I think there is a website that compares prices for the hypermarchés, but I can not remember the name.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can tell you that we visited an amazing winery near Poitiers, and their wine is very reasonable and delicious:

ampelidae.com

Try the Armance B sparkling.

Really, really good, and only about 8 euros when we were there a few years ago.

(I can get it in New Jersey for $20, I think-at Moore Bros.-and had it at a restaurant in Philly last week for $38-much cheaper to buy on site!)

Just show up at the winery and buy what you need.


Philly Francophiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is your budget? And where is your home base? When we travel - I always like to go to regular food stores to compare food prices abroad versus those I pay at home (in NE Florida). In Germany last year - prices were about 150% of US prices - and I would suspect France would be closer to 200% since it's more expensive than Germany. In general - raw ingredients are very cheap in the US compared to those in Europe. Robyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The prices of some foods have gone up about 30% here in the past 6 months. Here's the link to the Carrefour store online. Their prices are very representative of what you'll find in the big stores, small stores will probably be a bit more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And you could also compare the prices with those of general online shopping websites like Telemarket.

Food prices have become insanely high in France. And with the price of cereals like rice growing, and the biofuels issue, I don't think the situation is going to get any better.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poitiers in May. Not a million miles from us, just up the A20 in fact.

First everything has gone up a lot in dollar terms over the past months. At around $1.60 per Euro its not much fun. In Euro terms I think there has been some inflation over the last year. Certainly the French are all complaining about it, but its not nearly 30% overall. More like 5% on average.

A few average price examples:

Beef - 8-14 Euro/kg for cheap cuts. Roasts & steaks run 20-35E/Kg. Not the meat of choice in France if you are on a budget. Veal is about the same.

Pork - 5-8 E/kg for cheaper cuts. Best cuts are 11 15E/kg. Quality is excellent. Good fresh sausage (Toulouse) runs around 7-9E/kg.

Lamb - 5-9E/kg for cheap cuts. Leg/shoulder about 18-23E/kg. Excellent quality. We just bought a half lamb from our local farmer for 11E/kg beautifully cut & packaged.

Chicken - Battery raised about 4-6E/kg; free range 7-9E/kg & true farm chickens even more. Pieces tend to be cheap.

Duck - varies a lot as do guinea fowl, quail, cannette all in the 6-10E/kg range. Magret runs about 9-12E/kg unless you can find a duck farmer at market. One of our local supermarkets has been selling Spanish raised Quail at 1E per bird.

Eggs - about 2E per dozen at market.

Butter - from 1E per 500g on up.

Bread - standard baguette about 1E.

Fruits & vegetables are all over the place depending upon seasonality. My tip. If the fruit or veg is either out of season or is not grown locally then buy at the supermarkets. (figure out which one in your area has the best quality) They have the buying power & also tend to sell in bulk. Since you are feeding 20 you can take advantage. Recent examples- 2kg bags of apples for 1.5E. Oranges about the same. 1kg bags of endive heads for 1E. 3kg of leeks for 2E. Asparagus is coming in now & I got a big bunch for 1.50E yesterday.

Use the open air markets for local produce, eggs, cheeses, special breads, flowers, meat & sausage (both fresh & dry). Don't be afraid to do a bit of discreet haggling on price. (Quell est le prix per kilo? Ah, XX Euro par kilo! Et pour 5 kilo? Not great French, but they get the message.) You may or may not get a discount, but it doesn't hurt to try. The haggling works best near the end of the morning just before everybody closes.

Wine- You should not have to pay more than 3E per a drinkable bottle of wine. The classic vin ordinaire should be this or less. In the reds look for wines from the SW, Corbiers, Minervois & so forth. Find a good wine shop & take their recommendations. With your number of people buying your everyday wine by the box makes sense. I buy 10 liter boxes of Chateau Pouljols for 19.60E. Decant it & everybody loves it. In general stay away from cheap Bordeaux; if you like that style of wine try Madiran's instead. Whites are harder, but there are some nice Loire wines and there are beginning to be some palatable chardonnays from the SW.

Hope this helps. Another tip. Take your copy of Paula Wolfert's SW French cooking book. You can try out some of her recipes for the various kinds of offal that are both available & cheap in France.

Enjoy your visit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fruits & vegetables are all over the place depending upon seasonality. My tip. If the fruit or veg is either out of season or is not grown locally then buy at the supermarkets. (figure out which one in your area has the best quality) They have the buying power & also tend to sell in bulk. Since you are feeding 20 you can take advantage. Recent examples- 2kg bags of apples for 1.5E. Oranges about the same. 1kg bags of endive heads for 1E. 3kg of leeks for 2E. Asparagus is coming in now & I got a big bunch for 1.50E yesterday.

Vegetable prices definitely vary a lot. I was just at the marché Aligre and Broccoli went from 1.60 a kilo to 4.90 (not even bio). So, be careful. I have found that when I buy local, which is more expensive, my carrots last at least two weeks, from lesser quality venders they might only last a few days. So, at times it pays to spend more.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the warning to be careful about buying vegetables more than a couple of days ahead of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you ALL for the quick replies and helpful info --please keep 'em coming! I appreciate the details very much, Dave, as well as the general advice from everyone.

Robyn, my home base in the states is Seattle, in France will be at St Julien l'Ars, between Poitiers and Chauvigny. My budget, if I can hold it there, will be about 20 euros/per person for food only (no wine) for three meals. Breakfast will be light (we are in France, after all), and mostly yogurt, fruit .. some nice local pastries when I've economized on the rest of the budget. Lunch will be soup and salads, varying by day and what's in the market (I'm thinking petit pois ought to be available by the end of May, no?). Dinner will rely on braises, more vegies, etc. Will leave room in the budget for treats from time to time, including home made ice cream.

Anyway .. any more price-related info very welcome and appreciated. I may start another topic with a different set of questions as well!

Cheers!


Richard W. Mockler

Seattle

I will, in fact, eat anything once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vegetable prices definitely vary a lot.
Yup. On my street alone prices for fruits and vegetables can vary by 30% and where my friend Atar goes (Poncelet) they are sometimes 2-3-more times (but the quality is better). I like the idea of using Carrefour or Telemarket as reference points too.

As a coda, the 8 PM TV news almost once a month runs a segment on rising prices of grains, etc. The "purchasing power" is a big issue in France and Italy.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should be able to eat well on 20 Euros/ day/person.

Bread & butter for B'fast are cheap as are various kinds of jam & jellies (A large Apricot jam for 1.2E for example) Croissants run between .7 & .9E each, pain au raisin about 1.3E.

Your bulk veggies from the Super Market make for cheap soups. Leeks should still be Ok in May. Lentils are both good & cheap here for soups. potato's run about 1E/lb. Salads are inexpensive although you will be a bit early for good & cheap tomatoes.

Everyone is right about the price of veggies, they do jump all over the place especially at market. They also vary a lot week by week.

Your braises, stews & other slow cooked dishes will serve you well. For me my luxury items are cheeses; good ones are not cheap, but I can't resist. For other people its the desserts from the shops, expensive, but worth it if you have a sweet tooth.

I think you'll have fun & also have a bit of budget to splurge with.

A final thought. You can eat lunch at a 'routier' for 11 -14E per person. This for a 4 course meal including wine. Definitely worth a try and very much a "French" experience for those who are new to the country. I'm sure that with a bit of looking & asking you will be able to find several within easy reach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You should be able to eat well on 20 Euros/ day/person.

Bread & butter for B'fast are cheap as are various kinds of jam & jellies (A large Apricot jam  for 1.2E for example) Croissants run between .7 & .9E each, pain au raisin about 1.3E.

Your bulk veggies from the Super Market make for cheap soups. Leeks should still be Ok in May. Lentils are both good & cheap here for soups. potato's run about 1E/lb. Salads are inexpensive although you will be a bit early for good & cheap tomatoes.

Everyone is right about the price of veggies, they do jump all over the place especially at market. They also vary a lot week by week.

Your braises, stews & other slow cooked dishes will serve you well. For me my luxury items are cheeses; good ones are not cheap, but I can't resist. For other people its the desserts from the shops, expensive, but worth it if you have a sweet tooth.

I think you'll have fun & also have a bit of budget to splurge with.

A final thought. You can eat lunch at a 'routier' for 11 -14E per person. This for a 4 course meal including wine. Definitely worth a try and very much a "French" experience for those who are new to the country. I'm sure that with a bit of looking & asking you will be able to find several within easy reach.

I searched for 'routier' and didn't find much. Can you enlighten me? What is a 'Routeir'?


Taco Truck or Per Se - No matter as long as passion drives the food

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I searched for 'routier' and didn't find much. Can you enlighten me? What is a 'Routeir'?

Routiers are truck stops...there is a Les Routiers publication which is annual (I think)


Edited by insomniac (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I searched for 'routier' and didn't find much. Can you enlighten me? What is a 'Routeir'?

Routiers are truck stops...there is a Les Routiers publication which is annual (I think)

That's right. Truck Stops. Here is a link to the guide.

This guide is by no means comprehensive as it only covers member of the 'official' association. It is, however, a good start.

As I suggested asking around locally is your best bet, either that or watching out for lots of trucks & vans parked outside a road side place at lunch time. Normally on major routes, but not the places on the Autoroutes.

For example, we have 4 places within 15 minutes. Ravel, Le Glebe, Bar du Lac & Segler. All between 11 & 13 Euros for the Entree de jour, the plat de jour, cheese & dessert. 1/4 litre of wine included. Depending upon the place there may or may not be a choice of items in each course. Normally, portions are reasonable to large. The food will be good. If not you won't see many vehicles outside.

Have a go!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for translation. I don't think I'll be able to walk out of the Louvre and into routier; but when we get out on that road...


Taco Truck or Per Se - No matter as long as passion drives the food

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...