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Food + Cooking

A Culinary Compliment?

...Or Simply a Case of Whole Foods Envy?

America, the country of greasy hamburgers? Not only that, but also the home of the world's largest chain of organic supermarkets," Le Point reports breathlessly from Paris. The French news weekly goes on to describe the "astonishing" variety and freshness of the organic produce on offer. Similarly, "Whole Foods, the Paradise of Extravagant Bobos" was the headline of a recent article in Liberation, in which the journalist can't entirely conceal his amazement at the fact that the United States, home to McDonald's, has also given birth to the "world's largest and most luxurious chain of organic supermarkets." What Parisians want to know, though, is: Will they come here? The chain says it presently has no plans to open in France, which will be a disappointment to Parisians who're enviously looking across the Channel at the new Whole Foods store in London. Laurent Sebaoun, a Paris real-estate agent, says: "I never imagined that Americans cared that much about food, which is why I was pretty amazed by the Whole Foods in New York. It's a really nice store, much better than anything we have in Paris." He speaks for all of us when he says: "I hope they come here."