Causses is an epicerie specializing in gluten, additive, and preservative-free food. The shop focuses on small, independent producers and bulk, so I dragged my husband to our old neighborhood to check it out. It's been awhile since I left my quartier, and I suddenly realized how spoiled we are living in the 7ème. The rest of Paris seems so dirty by comparison.
Causses carries all local food, which doesn't necessarily mean it's from France. There was maybe one basket of tomatoes grown here and the rest of the produce came from Spain or Sicily- it's less energy intensive that way. When I asked to put feta in my own container, they charged me rather than subtracting the tare written on the bottom- n'importe quoi- but the bulk section has a nice array of gluten-free dry goods, and bulk olive oil or fresh orange juice is available. They compost everything, and what little we bought was well-priced and delicious. We loosely followed this bulk shopping tour of Montmartre, stopping at Cité du Midi and Le Comptoir Colonial after. We wanted to try L'Epicerie de Terroir, but my husband, who was raised in Paris, saw the mini mustard gift sets outside, said, "Too touristy," and refused to go in.
I know how this sounds, but Montmartre is just too real for me now. There was a homeless man with a dog suckling little puppies by the Métro that brought me to tears in the street. I gave him money and he bought a pack of cigarettes and a beer can, which he threw at some passersby after. Life in the 7ème is so sheltered, I'm out of touch with the realities of harsh city life. I felt out of place, especially around Boulevard de Clichy- probably because I don't have dreadlocks or own anything tie-dyed.