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In my 2013 Cannes food shopping entry, I wrote:

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in any of the shops mentioned below, only that I have found them to be reliable establishments. Also, please note that your nation’s customs laws might prohibit bringing home certain items (e.g. dairy products).

Before you leave home, pack a couple of large sheets of thick bubble wrap. Chances are you’ll want to bring some culinary items home and a few of these are likely to be in glass containers.

Also, if you have one, pack a flat chill bag, which is great for bringing home cheese and other items which require refrigeration. If you do not have one of these, Monoprix’s food hall and Casino supermarket sell them.

The chill bags and bubble wrap are essential for food lovers. In 2017, Monoprix still has the chill bags, conveniently located in the frozen food aisle. (I’m not sure about Casino, only because I didn’t look.)

In June, SpouseMouse and I checked out the smoked fish selection in Cannes. Casino’s was comprised of smoked salmon.

Monoprix’s was more adventurous with the addition of smoked eel and smoked trout.

Smoked eel — Filets d’Anguille fumée (Delicemer)

At €6.21 for 100g — enough for two people — Delicemer’s smoked eel fillets are a must.

Not only do they look beautiful, with two foot-long long strips of filleted eel (like this), they were a dream to eat.

This product is from Spain. They treat eel with love.

Smoked eel is not widely available but every foodie should definitely try it.

In England, we bought Forman’s many years ago, but it seemed very salty, even for me. Since then, I have had it regularly when I dine as a guest at a private club in Pall Mall, where it tastes rich, unctuous and buttery. Presumably, Forman’s is the supplier, but it tastes just right. Maybe they have adjusted the salt content.

I thought nothing could top that until I tried Delicemer‘s from Monoprix. It was even more unctuous and buttery. Even better, it was a fraction of the price of Forman’s. Glad I bought two, now consumed.

Although a light horseradish cream is often served as an accompaniment, Delicemer’s are best eaten plain at room temperature with a few slices of decent baguette.

This was one food memory that I’ll always treasure.

I will buy more on our next trip.

Smoked trout — Truite Fumée Pyrénées (Ovive)

I bought a 120g pack — 4 slices — of Ovive’s smoked trout for approximately €6.

Although I would buy it again, only because it is difficult for some reason to find smoked trout in England now, I did not think it was unctuous enough. I enjoy a fatty tasting smoked fish.

Sure enough, on the back of the packet it says (translation mine):

For your health, Ovive trout is 2 to 3 times less fatty than any farmed salmon.

Ovive trout has a fat content of 7.6g per 100g. Contrast this with Delicemer’s smoked eel, which has 34g of fat per 100g. Now I know why I preferred the smoked eel.

On the other hand, SpouseMouse enjoyed the trout and was not missing the fat.

Ovive’s packaging is a marketer’s dream. The text on the back is the length of a magazine article, I kid you not.

truite fuméeThe front of the packet tells you that Ovive’s production is good for nature, jobs and you.

(Image credit: Ovive)

Like the one pictured, ours also came from Lau Balagnas, one of Ovive’s three trout farms. It is run by François Pomarez, who also runs another of the company’s trout farms in the Hautes-Pyrénées.

Each site, listed on the back, has the name of the town, regional location, river and farmer’s name. You can find out more on their Facebook page.

Ovive is part of Groupe Aqualande:

Our company is located in the Southwest of France with a strong attachment to this region. Aqualande has become a European leader in aquaculture. Build on the expertise of its people, grateful for the rich values provided by nature and aware of customer expectations, Aqualande has been able to develop harmoniously in all activities of the aquaculture industry.

It is comprised of 15 co-operative members who employ 700 people based in the region:

Smoked Trout is the flagship of Aqualande. With a production of about 3,300 tons per year, Aqualande is leader on the French market. OVIVE brand is valued by its packaging assets of the company: the attachment to the region, the quality of the product and social responsibility.

Thus, our Aqualande Cooperative Group has developed an integrated aquaculture industry and is the largest in the sector in France, with a staff of 700 people in its three activities.

Historically, our company carries the same requirements :

  • strong commitments from the beginning to the end, environmental and social responsibility and product quality,
  • certification by independent third parties to validate our approach,
  • transparency and information towards our partners and our consumers.

Our commitments are our values!

I wish them well. Even though it’s left-wing, I like the idea of co-operatives, where everyone has an interest and receives a proper share of the profits.

Conclusion

I highly recommend bringing these two products home with you when you are ready to leave France. And if you are spending your holiday there and in charge of your own meals, stock up and enjoy them in your accommodation. You won’t be sorry.

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