Le lait, le comprenez-vous?

Buying milk in France is not like at home. In the supermarket, it is always found in the farthest possible point from the shop entrance, but the similarities end there.

The colour scheme used to be the same as in Old Blighty but Napoléon changed it in the early 1800s, around the same time he switched everybody to driving on the wrong side of the road. Blue milk bottles are semi-skimmed, red is full fat—except when it’s green: then it’s organic full fat—and skimmed milk bottles are octarine or something. In the UK, it’s far simpler: red for skimmed, green for semi-skimmed, blue for full fat, gold for fuller than full fat and then orange for that other level that also exists.

Milk in a French supermarket

French milk bottles don’t have little handles on them, unlike British ones, maybe because the dexterity to add ‘just a dash’ to a cup of tea is not in high demand in France. Bottles of drain cleaner do have the little handles, though. I draw no conclusions from this.

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