From the seaside & the farm to your table
FrischeParadies is my favorite place to shop for seafood and meat in Stuttgart.
When it comes to food, growing up in a tropical environment is amazing. I had all kinds of food at my disposal all year round. If I wanted a steak, it was available; lobster, check; seafood, livestock, & fresh produce of all varieties - check, check, and check! I could have fresh coconut water all year round, tropical fruits, the best gourmet meats (Candy's, I love you. That chicken-mango-habanero sausage is to die for). I had grocery stores like Whole Foods with full blown restaurants inside and access to a large variety of international and local ingredients. I had the land and the sea. When it was mango season in the Caribbean, we would go to mango bush (acres of green forested land with swimming holes and fruits growing wildly). We'd fill our bellies with a variety of different mangoes, swim all day and eat nothing but fruit. In the evening when we returned home, we'd be ready for some curried chicken or better yet, curried goat. We had it all. Because of access to a variety of foods that I grew up with, making the move to Germany was a huge adjustment.
While I fell in love with German beer, I missed the types of foods and restaurants that were available to me in the places that I lived in before. Germany is drastically different from SoCal or Jamaica. Both SoCal & Jamaica are pretty much very hot throughout the year. Germany, on the other hand, has 4 seasons. I'd compare the climate in Germany to the east coast region of the United States. Then there was the fact that while I lived in coastal cities and areas before, I was now landlocked in Stuttgart. There was not much access to fresh seafood or finding a variety of meats in local supermarkets. I mean, where would I get goat meat and racks of lamb? Where could I get beef ribs? Needless to say, my eating habits changed completely. I started eating pasta for the first time in my life and bread became a staple instead of something you ate a few bites of while waiting for your dinner in a restaurant. Now, don't get me wrong, if there's one thing you want to have in Germany, it's bread! The Germans do it damn well & there's a local bakery on practically every corner - there's nothing like the smell of freshly-baked bread. While my senses love it, my waistline hates me more with every bite of bread and butter with strawberry marmalade that I put into my mouth. Before moving to Germany, I was pretty much a protein and veg girl, and of course, thanks to my African-Chinese-Indian heritage, I loved my rice. While I eventually found some great butchers and markets for all things meat, seafood was still very elusive until I found FrischeParadies. I loved it so much that I quickly became fast friends with the general manager Melanie, and a several of the staff. Every time I visited they would greet me warmly and we'd sometimes exchange hugs and chat a bit. I talked to Jürgen, the motorcycle enthusiast, about his latest trips; our Italian friend would tell me about his latest trip to Italy and his hometown; on days when the vendors visited, I'd sample a variety of different foods from grilled filet to foie gras pâté with grapefruit and of course a glass of wine from time to time (I know, I ate foie gras. It was damn good. I don't cook it nor have I ever ordered it in a restaurant but it was a free sample and I didn't have the will power to resit trying it. Don't judge me). I could go on and on about FrischeParadies but to sum it all up, I finally felt at home in Germany by having access to some of my favorite ingredients. Since first discovering FrischeParadies, they've opened up several other locations throughout Germany and it's comforting to know that there's one in all my favorite German cities now. Check out what they have to offer below.
Out of all the grocery stores and markets that I've visited in Stuttgart, FrischeParadies has the largest selection of fresh seafood. You can get everything there from sashimi quality tuna and salmon to Caribbean spiny lobsters and Canadian lobsters (humanely killed via high pressure). Trust me, if you've never killed a crustacean before, you'll be happy to have that job already done for you. Every time I killed a lobster, the humane way (knife through the center of the head) it was a nightmare. Yes, of course, fresh is always better but the frozen lobsters are also pretty damn good and unless you live by the seaside, fresh is a bit elusive.
Jürgen Bauer - Weinfachberater
Jürgen is the wine expert at FrischeParadies but he also works in the seafood department from time to time. He's one of the people who make shopping at FrischeParadies such a pleasure for me. He's always super helpful and very pleasant. There's no doubt that FrischeParadies has excellent seafood and produce, but when the staff is also amazing it makes the shopping experience so much more pleasurable. I always leave there with the feeling that it's money well spent.
One thing to keep in mind when buying fish at FrischeParadies is that you will have to scale them once at home. Although the fish are lightly scaled, they're still covered in scales. One of the tricks I use to prevent those pesky scales from clogging up my sink is to scale them in a large plastic bag.
The wine selection at FrischeParadies is pretty good, especially when it comes to their German wines. Normally I'm not a fan of Riesling but I had a very dry Riesling last summer which was to die for. Sorry, I forgot the name of it but the bottle had a very distinct shape. If I come across it again, I'll let you know. If you go to Frische on a Saturday, sometimes there are samples of wine on offer. Who doesn't love a good wine tasting?
I love the produce section at FrischeParadies. They have exotic fruits like lychee, mangos, etc. They have micro greens, lemon grass, baby corn, jalapeños, black truffle, and much more. You won't find everything there, but things that are a staple in my kitchen and are hard to find at other grocery stores are typically in stock. Staple items in my kitchen include coriander (cilantro), bok choy, and thyme. Coriander plays a huge role in the Latin American dishes that I cook - bok choy is one of my favorite Asian greens & thyme is essential in the Jamaican kitchen. Just make sure you get there early on the weekends if you want to score some coriander - it sells out rather quickly. You can also call ahead and ask them to put some aside for you. Just make sure you pick it up. It's not fair to let good produce go to waste. ;-)
Meat & Poultry
Their meat selection is amazing. They have rib-eye (entrecôte), filet, lamb rack, rabbit, kobe beef, deer, goat, cornish game hen, black chicken, squab... and the list goes on. Of course, what's in stock depends on the time of year, especially when it comes to wild game meats. For charcuterie lovers, you can also find a nice selection of premium cured meats. Be prepared to buy in bulk when it comes to certain items. Since FrischeParadies is a wholesaler and often supplies local restaurants and businesses, when it comes to meat, packages typically weigh approximately 2 kilograms or more and that will cost you about €60 and up depending on the cut and type of meat. I love all the meat there, but what really excites me is the goat meat (Ziege) & the veal ribs are a close second. Oh my God, those veal ribs! I can't wait for summer.
Insider Tips for shopping at FrischeParadies in Stuttgart
1. Cash & Carry - Every 1st Monday of the month shoppers get 15% off everything purchased in Frische Paradies. This day is especially great because vendors often have demonstrations of the products they sell, whether it's a piece of perfectly grilled fish or wine & cheese tasting, you're always in for a treat on Cash & Carry Monday.
2. Weekend shopping - Go early! They open at 8am on Saturday.
3. Drive instead of taking the S-bahn or U-bahn. It's a lot more convenient. FrischeParadies is located directly across from the Mercedes Benz arena & isn't near a station so you would have to walk for quite a bit with your groceries & that's no fun. If you're sporty, ride your bicycle (preferably one with a basket attached).
4. They also have a variety of sauces from around the world that you won't be able to get in a typical supermarket and lots of specialty items. Try the Olive Taggiasche - it's absolutely delicious. All you need is a great baguette and you're in heaven.
Thanks to the whole FrischeParadies team for letting me get behind the counter to take these beautiful pictures showcasing their amazing selection. It was the perfect shopping experience as usual.
If you're in Stuttgart, visiting FrischeParadies is definitely a must. And if you're not in Stuttgart, visit frischeparadies.com to see if there's a FrischeParadies in your city. Happy shopping this weekend.