Today, while exploring my little town of Sèvres, I stumbled upon the most fabulous grocery store I have ever seen in France, and yes, it's called Shopi. Clean, well-organized, good prices, decently sized, all of my favorite French products...I think I'm in love. I wanted to buy everything! Of course I didn't, living on a budget and all, but I did treat myself to a lime-flavored Perrier and will be returning in the near future for a package of Kiri cheese and a large bottle of Orangina.
In between admiring the picture-perfect produce, seemingly endless chocolate aisle, and many-bottles-less-than-four-euros wine collection, I did something that, for most Americans, is slightly horrifying: I bought a room-temperature bottle of milk off the shelf. It was not in a cooler, not behind a door in a refrigerator, it was on the shelf in the same way that the cereal and the pasta are on the shelf. In the States, milk is always kept cold, unless it's condensed milk, but that is only for baking and would never be poured over cereal or used as a refreshing beverage. We're trained to associate warm milk with spoiled milk. I've never understood why the milk can be kept on the shelf here without going bad, but I did notice on the bottle that it is supposed to be refrigerated after opening. I for one will be making absolutely sure that the milk is fully chilled before enjoying a glass with my gateau au chocolat.