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The Shopping News: Paris

Episode 5 of 5

Joanna Robertson says that when Parisians shop for high-quality food it is not just because they revere it, but also because they understand its cultural and political reach.

Joanna Robertson is a journalist and mother who has lived in five foreign countries, where she has observed that local shopping habits tell you a lot about the place. In these Essays, she argues that when people go shopping, they don't just purchase goods, they also buy into something else. Joanna Robertson takes us shopping with the locals and explores these ulterior motives and what they reveal about the residents of five cities: Rome, New York, Berlin, Tirana and Joanna's current home, Paris.

When Parisians shop for, or sell, traditional, locally produced high-quality food, it's not just because they revere it, but also because it's part of a deeply entrenched culture that dates back to the nineteenth century. Owners of specialist food shops like Madame Acabo and her to-die-for chocolates are the heirs of key individuals like the lawyer, politician and gastronome of genius, Brillat-Savarin (whose Physiology of Taste, published in 1825, has never been out of print), and the aristocrat Grimod de la ReyniÃre who wrote not only gastronomic almanacs and journals, but also reviews of the new phenomenon called "le restaurant" - one of which, a very successful one using only locally sourced ingredients, he set up himself.

Producer: Arlene Gregorius.

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15 minutes

Last on

Fri 25 May 2018 22:45

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Photo of food store in Trastevere by Felix Semyonov


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