Wednesday 27 November 2013

The All-Green Pea

... is the name of the new Bio Co-op, Le Pois Tout Vert, in Châtellerault, in English translation.

Come inside!
Rather a meaningless name, n'est-ce pas? Not in French. Châtellerault is in the département of Vienne (no clue there) in the region of Poitou-Charente (aha!) and in the ancient province of Poitou (doubly aha!). Le Pois Tout Vert = Le Poitou Vert soundalike - another example of the French love of puns. The All-Green Pea means Green Poitou. They have three stores in Poitiers as well as the one in Châtellerault and you can find their web site here.

The store has all sorts of produce on display - fresh vegetables, preserves, cosmetics, teas, flour, beer... a terrible temptation! There's a good range of gluten-free products too. I particularly like the 'en vrac' facility where you can serve yourself with as much or as little as you want of all sorts of things like cereals, dried fruit, spices and detergent. The dry goods are numbered and you fill a paper bag, put it on the scales, type in the number and get a price sticker.

BioCoop itself is a cooperative project run by its members, and links together more than 335 organic shops across France, including l'An Vert du Panier in Chinon and BioCoop Salut Terre in Tours. More puns! L'An Vert = l'Envers meaning the Other Side [of the Basket]; Salut Terre = Salutaire meaning Healthy or Beneficial.

So here come still more puns! Chat-en-Oeuf = Chateauneuf = any one of thousands of lieu-dits across France, including the farm just up the road we call "Grundys'". It is also the name of a British importer of rather good wines from Languedoc, with a very slick website. Their label is simplicity itself, and a triumph of graphic design.

Wine Design of the Year 2007

And then there's a firm that specialises in fitting out lorries as mobile shops, such as Outiror (the Tool Drawer). It isn't compulsory to buy something every time the Outiror wagon pays a visit, but they do have some good stuff, and their free gifts are nearly as good as Damart.

The Outiror wagon in the market place, Le Grand Pressigny

Everything in a lorry... cinemas, medical units, displays, team support vehicles ... so what's the pun here?


This entry is in memory of Araucaria, the great compiler of crosswords and puzzler of monkeys like me, who posted a notice of his terminal illness as a crossword solution. The Reverend John Graham, who died on 26th November aged 92, RIP.


Jean said...

I have noticed the French love of puns and will take more interest when I see them.
I hadn't heard of John Graham but have great admiration for people who can both compile and do crosswords. I have never had the patience to do any other than the simplest.

Pollygarter said...

Araucaria's crosswords always had a theme and if you got that you were nearly home. Most of the time he had me foxed but I managed it a few times. His nom de plume hid his real name for most of his life, although he was thought to be a man of the cloth, which was indeed the case. He was an erudite, modest gentleman of a kind that is now rare.