For me, one of the best things about shopping in France is the sheer quality of the food available. Even something as everyday as tomatoes can bring real pleasure.
Take a cœur de bœuf tomato, for example. In France, they smell different to any you’ll find at home.
The variety isn’t widely available in Britain, though some supermarkets are starting to sell them. In France, they are far more commonplace. You’ll find them in every supermarket and on every greengrocer’s display.
We bought some at the market on Tuesday.
The tomato is distinctive because of its shape. It is large and shaped like an ox’s heart, hence its name. It ripens from the inside out, and can often stay green for a long time.
Although they are available from the end of March, they seem particularly plentiful at this time of year.
Every now and again you hear people who have made the move to France bemoaning the seasonality of the fruit and vegetables here. They hanker for the wide range of fruit and vegetables available all year round in Britain.
I fear they may be missing the point.