I always think/thought of the French as being especially health minded when it comes to their diet. After all they are the ones who can eat can eat all that bread, cheese, and foie gras that’s washed down with glasses of red wine and still have low rates of heart disease. Even the newly-crowned Miss Fitness Europe 2016 is from right here in Carcassonne. So how come we can’t find brown rice?
Recently one of the newspapers here reported that when adjusted for population and land size, Carcassonne has a higher concentration of shopping centers than most any other part of the country. (You can probably see the sparkle in Bill’s eyes from wherever you are!) It seems ironic that our house sits between a walled fortress with 2000 year-old foundations and a medieval city founded in 1260 yet we can take a 15-minute bus ride to the four compass points and land on a modern zone commerciale packed with stores.
It may not surprise you to learn that we’ve been to them all; from the tiniest boutique to a stadium-sized hypermarket, all in the spirit of getting to know our surroundings. Oh yeah, and to look for brown rice. I’ve lost count of how many supermarkets and just plain ‘ole neighborhood grocery stores we’ve gone to in search of riz complet. Only yesterday, thanks to a tip from bloggers and former residents of our new town, Tracy & Alan, did we hit the jackpot at the Bio (short for biologique or organic) store where they had whole grains of all sorts both prepackaged and in bulk. The bonus in the process was learning a new word: vrac which in English means “bulk”. Interestingly on the bus ride to the Bio store we happened to spot a wine shop advertising Vin Vrac where you can bring your own container and “fill-er-up”. Can you guess where we’re going this afternoon?