Frozen food in America has not enjoyed the greatest reputation. I think back to the days of my childhood when I looked forward to Friday nights when I had the privilege of heating up a Kid Cuisine meal for dinner. This was a plate of frozen chicken nuggets, corn and chocolate pudding with sprinkles separated by plastic compartments. Yummmm, right? I’m sure my eight year old self did not care what it tasted like: it was fun!
These days, though, Americans seem to have their pick of natural frozen foods, from Trader Joe’s marinated Ahi tuna steaks to Amy’s organic burritos. France also has its share of high quality frozen food, and you can find it all in one place: Picard.
Picard is the place to go for frozen meals in France. The prices are reasonable, there are locations everywhere, and the food actually tastes fresh. In my opinion, Picard frozen food is a step above any frozen food I have had in the U.S. This is why the French will even serve it at a party. It’s that good.
The French, as we all know, are especially talented at making delicious food. How do Picard’s frozen products taste so great? According to Picard’s website, each product, whether it is fish, meat, vegetables, fruits or grains, is selected from the best possible geographic zone and flash-frozen exactly at its peak of ripeness or freshness. The flash-freezing process preserves the cellular structure of the food so that taste, texture and appearance remain the same. No additives, preservatives (conservateur in French, attention!) or stabilizers are added to the product. The freezers in the store are kept at -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) to ensure the food stays fresh.
As someone who has a Picard two steps from their apartment, I definitely take advantage of the situation. For lunch, I might have spicy green coconut curry with chicken and rice for 4 euros, or treat myself to some authentic couscous for 2 euros a serving. Picard makes a large selection of tasty single serving entrees for only 2 euros each.
For dinner, my husband and I often enjoy Mediterranean Paella with chicken and seafood for under 7 euros. For a special Easter dessert, we tried Picard’s milk chocolate eggs filled with vanilla ice cream and caramel, less than 4 euros for 4 eggs. Needless to say, they were scrumptious.
Next time you’re in France and have access to a microwave or an oven, surprise your taste buds and stop by Picard to pick up a cheap gourmet meal. You’ll never look at frozen food the same again.
Picard frozen foods
© 2012 Pasa’s Paris