Truffles and champagne may be the stuff your French culinary dreams are made of but it is the Home Brand staples littering the shelves of Carrefour that will be your best friends when it comes to the student diet.
Australian dollars translate poorly into Euros and shopping in France isn't quite the feast one might have expected. Sure, you have your staple cheese and baguettes, highly affordable and of good quality, but starting a pantry from scratch and expecting it to be as wide-ranging as the one at home is to dream beyond possibility. After just 3 trips to the supermarket I almost qualify for the disability pension after losing an arm and a leg.
I stood in the meat section and decided then and there to become a vegetarian. Beef mince is AU$20/kg (I checked the Coles catalogue online, it's $12/kg for 5 star quality). A BBQ chicken is about AU$18 and ham is about $1 PER SLICE.
Yoghurt is cheaper in France. Good cheese is cheaper but bad cheese is more expensive (!?). Asian food is a delicacy and priced accordingly - a jar of Patak's Tandoori Paste is AU$8. Yes, 8.
Now please excuse me, I have to go prepare my chickpeas with salt.
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