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Picard Frozen Food Shops

Pauline

Forums Admin
I have heard about these shops, but have never been into one, until today. There is one in Uzes, near the roundabout for the large Carrefour. They have an incredible selection of prepared meals, all frozen. There is a good selection of vegetarian items. Today we tried Japanese vegetable dumplings for appetizer. I had vegetable Risotto for mains, Steve had Thai rice and shrimp. It was all very good.

I read an article recently saying that a surprising number of restaurants in France use frozen foods - meals prepared by other chefs, frozen and then served up as made in the restaurant.

Has anyone here had food from Picard? What did you think?
 

Chris

500+ Posts
I'm not a fan. Frank and I tried several things the last time we stayed in Paris, but I didn't like any of it. Maybe I didn't choose well, or maybe I just don't like frozen and re-heated meals. I also haven't liked any of the Trader Joe's frozen dishes that everyone raves about.
 

jonathan

100+ Posts
I'd read lots of good reports of their stuff on ST, so when I found a Picard in Villefranche sM last summer, I tried several things. I mostly went for starters & vegetable accompaniments, and was impressed.

So - where's the nearest Picard to Simiane? I'll have to do some research!
 

Lisa in Ottawa

500+ Posts
I was curious a out Picard having seen them mentioned on slowtrav.
Nice had several large shops. I think its all about what you choose. I'm not a big fan of frozen products. I'm inherently distrustful of chains with many many outlets. I wonder about oversight. And while we were in Nice, there was a mini scandal about Picard. I think about sourcing. Can't remember But signs were posted reassuring customers.
Having said the above, I would still buy their products for a quick meal and after careful selection. Lots of I interesting choices.
 

Kathy

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Yes, there's a Picard in Apt, near the Leclerc. (Jonathan, this will be the closest to Simiane.) When we were setting up our apartment, we visited and I bought a few meals. We heated them up a couple of nights when we didn't have much time. I agree with Lisa that there are some interesting choices.
 

jonathan

100+ Posts
Thanks, Kathy. I had a brief wander round Apt's market when I was in the Luberon a few summers ago; I look forward to getting to know the place better, since it's the closest 'proper town' to my little Cabanon in July.
 

Roz

500+ Posts
People who are totally in to cooking would turn up their noses at Picard, but we've taken out some of their frozen dishes for a quick meal and found most of them quite good. I read an article some years ago saying that it wasn't uncommon for French housewives to bring home a frozen Picard dinner, throw away the box in some inconspicuous place and serve it as home cooking.
 

Kevin Widrow

10+ Posts
I suppose as far as mass-produced industrial food is concerned, Picard isn't too bad, but for the life of me, I can't understand why someone coming to France on vacatino would eat a frozen dinner !!

- Kevin
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Because after being out all day, you are exhausted and don't want to deal with cooking or a restaurant. Besides - I read an article recently that said a large percentage of restaurants in France use frozen mass-produced industrial food. I will do a search and find that article!
 

Kevin Widrow

10+ Posts
I get being tired and not wanting to go out or cook, but why not, in that case, take advantage of the home-made pre-prepared dishes widely available in just about any butcher shop ? Not only will the quality be vastly superior, but you get to have a little chat with the person who actually did the cooking !

As for restaurants in France using frozen food, it's true and the info is widely disseminated here in France - I've seen quite a few television reports (60 minutes style) detailing things. There has been a movement afoot to force restaurants to disclose on their menus if things are home-made or not. As you can imagine, plenty of restaurants are against this idea.

My personal rule of thumb is that if there are more than 4 possibilities for a main course (assuming it's a small "local" establishment) then you should be sceptical. If you see a dessert menu with the following list "tarte au pomme, creme brulee, mousse au chocolate and isle flottante" you can be almost 100% sure they're coming from the freezer !

- Kevin
 

Kevin Widrow

10+ Posts
hmmmmm... didn't think all the way through my suggestion ! but perhaps, she could go in with blinders on. the butcher in our village makes a very mean all veggie tian, for example !!

p.s.: chris, sure is nice to be able to banter a bit !
 

Chris

500+ Posts
It is nice, isn't it! Wish I could be there to join your hike with Pauline and Steve. My photo of that little cabanon in the field of wildflowers shows up on my screen saver occasionally to remind me of that lovely walk last June. It's my favorite photo from the trip. Maybe I'll post it later. I'm on my way to Napa this morning to meet friends.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Vegetarian dishes in a butcher shop?? It would never have occurred to me to go into a butcher shop. I saw two in Uzes but did not go in - made note of them because I want to write a page about Uzes.

I guess I could go in one and look around - but in this country even the tapenade is not vegetarian (anchovies!!).
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Hah! The thought of Pauline in a butcher shop made me laugh out loud this morning! THAT is not going to happen...
I could go into a butcher shop as I posted above, but Chris is probably right - I won't.

We had crepes with potatoes in Uzes and half way through it occurred to me that the potatoes were probably cooked in duck/goose/some animal fat. I didn't ask because people are not so tolerant of this in France (or Italy).
 

Parigi

100+ Posts
"for the life of me, I can't understand why someone coming to France on vacatino would eat a frozen dinner !!"
I'm with Kevin. I run around all day too, and have a Picard in front of my building, but here go my highly prejudiced opinions:
(1) Going to the market is one of the top enjoyments of being in France. If one runs around doing what one thinks is important to do in France, then one should absolutely include going to the market.
(2) It does not take hours to produce good food with the fresh ingredients from the market.
I am pathologically lazy, but not lazy enough to eat Picard stuff, even though the store is in front of my building.
 

Parigi

100+ Posts
Pauline: Allow me to be the obnoxious crusader. Next time you are in Paris, let me give you a Picard tour, I mean a market tour, then we will cook you a vegetarian dinner. -- Did I just say that ?
And I promise, we will eat our foie gras under the table…
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Paris is the best place in France for vegetarians. There are several good vegetarian restaurants, even a couple of Macrobiotic restaurants, and "regular" restaurants frequently have vegetarian options. Not so in smaller towns in France, which is why we end up cooking most of our meals using the wonderful local and fresh vegetables.

I will take you up on that offer Parigi next time we are in Paris!
 

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