Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gifts from The States to France

If you are coming over for a visit to stay with friends who live in France, there are a few food treats you might want to bring that could put a twinkle in their eye .       

Of course, most American food items have found their way over here just as most French food items are found in super markets across America.   But there are a few things that we might miss.

If you are American and living here you will have seen the appearance in recent years of  Pepperidge Farm cookies and Oreos in most of the high end markets.  There are even "m&m's" but just the peanut ones since these don't compete with "Smarties" or any other European candy.

 In the biggest markets in Nice and surrounds (Galeries Lafayette and Monoprix), there is an "American" aisle which boasts among other things:  microwave popcorn,  marshmallow fluff ( Whaa?),  Pillsbury cake and muffin mixes,  Skippy peanut butter (crunchy or smooth but never both), maple syrup and boxed macaroni and cheese.  Strange, because I have never bought anything off this aisle.  My favorite peanut butter (without sugar) is in the bio store. 

  Popcorn in kernels can now be found in the dried fruits area of the store and the maple syrup along with agave and honey are in the normal aisle for sweeteners .  Kellogg's and "Post" have long made in-roads into Europe and the only change is that the French don't seem to make "rice krispies" or "wheat chex" and they like to put chocolate chips in with cereal.  

AliceandtheMockTurtle .blogspot
Speaking of chocolate chips, French ones are disappointingly small.  And they are called nuggets (pepites de chocolate) .  They are hardly nuggets,  no bigger than a tiny diamond chip.  We should trade names.  Let Vahine have the name "chips" and  Nestle's Tollhouse can call theirs "nuggets".   And these nuggets cost "an arm and a leg" because they are half real chocolate.   

  No,  Neither Tollhouse nor Ghiradelli chips are found here in Nice.   If you are a fan of  the very American chocolate chip cookies, you will need to go to Jefferies in Antibes.   But if I make cookies now, I just chop up a bar of the superior chocolate to be found everywhere in France.

Stahmann's Pecans
Nor do the French seem to prize pecans and macademia nuts.  They are quite expensive when you find them.  Bins of dried fruits and nuts which can be found in American supermarkets are practically non-existant in France so these delicacies are pricey.   Thus dried cherries and unsweetened dried cranberries and apricots are a good gift to bring.

For a long time the thing I wished for was plastic wrap that didn't leave one tangled in plastic and cursing a blue streak.  Cousin Rog found a wrap with its own cutter called Stretch-tite by Kirkland and it is superb.  He has brought me enough wrap from America now to last at least a few years.  I try not to use it very often because lets face it , its non re-cylable. 

  You also might bring good re-usable plastic freezer bags....what we call "zip lock", especially the giant ones which can be used for a lot of different kinds of storage  (like sweaters).  

Uma's Culinary World.
One thing I have never seen over here are Lima beans .   Southerners would love those , I'm sure, or other varieties of heirloom beans.
And if you want to tease the French who produce the worlds best variety of cheeses,  you might bring some American cheese like " Pepper Jack" just for a taste comparison.

  You could bring these things to your French friends too,  just don't "super size" them, they would not appreciate that.  Treats should be ...well ...occasional. 


  1. I remember my life in Milan, misssing many American treats but enjoying the incredibly wonderful Italian foods!


  2. That's it. We're selling out and moving back to the U.S. to enjoy all of these precious indispensable
    foods and products. Au Revoir...BB

  3. Where your big huge jar of Marshmallow fluff will be waiting for you. xx

  4. Don't forget soft brown sugar, baker's coconut (for thai cooking), and American aspirin!


  5. Gail, found the soft brown sugar out at Galeries Lafayette at Cap 3000, but yes, think of a white cake without baker's coconut, so moist. And yes, aspirin, of course. xx

  6. love that marshmallow fluff for hot chocolate! better than regular marshmallows, IMO

    Vicki Karen

  7. So that's what it's for. I thought it was rice krispy bars. xx

  8. it's the only thing i ever used it for. it's a very easy thing to make. i made it when i was learning how to make candy in 2010. it's a basic ingredient for icings and candies, too. you'd really like it on hot chocolate, Mary.

    Vicki Karen

  9. Thanks Vicki Karen, I really love hot chocolate. I might have to get a jar. xx

  10. Get one of your people to bring it over, then have a late night hot chocolate event (with the full moon, maybe). xox
    Vicki Karen

  11. Great, Any excuse will do and I can get the gooey stuff over here in my local American section of the market.


  12. oh, that's good news! i have always liked the jar with the nice red lid and re-use them. you'll see how easy it is to eat a tablespoon of it out of the jar while you are putting together the hot c. karen vicki xox