With the fall temperatures just around the corner, I started thinking about all the great holiday food that I’d enjoy in the U.S. in the coming months. From desserts to special side dishes, the options are already making me hungry. But then I snapped back to reality because the sad but true fact is that a lot of my favorites aren’t available in France. Here’s a look at the foods I miss most from home.
Foods I miss from America
Some of these foods are seasonal and some aren’t. The one thing they all have in common is that they’re not widely available in France. There is a store in Paris that specializes in American holiday fare, but since I don’t live in Paris, it’s not convenient (or cheap). There’s a website called My Little America, which has a decent selection, but most of the food is processed — although I do buy canned pumpkin from them. They have a lot of American snacks not available in France.
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So what’s an American living in France to do?
Two choices: 1) Deal with it (which isn’t impossible because there are lots of yummy goodies to be had in France and 2) Get kind friends and family to ship you a few things every now and then. But that gets expensive.
Here are a few of the foods I miss from America:
There are a bunch of American products not available in France.
- Canned pumpkin – Perfect for smoothies, soup, muffins, breads and pie, Libby’s or Whole Foods’ canned pumpkin is pretty much a year-round staple for me. In the fall, I use it even more, being the pumpkin junkie I am. At home in NJ, this stuff is often on sale for around a dollar a can if you stock up when the price is right but to ship it to France? Get ready to go broke. You can buy pumpkins/squash to cook yourself, but it’s just not the same.
- Ghirardelli Brownie Mix – There are mixes here but nothing that compares to Ghirardelli. Homemade is best but this stuff is a very close 2nd.
- Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts coffee – Sure, France has coffee but Dunkin Donuts is so familiar — and delicious. Adding in Starbucks because it just feels like home. Unless you’re in a big city, there are no Starbucks around.
- Kashi Snacks – A day without good snacks is not a good day. Kashi cereal bars and granola bars are awesome and I so wish they were available in France.
- Mexican food – Refried beans don’t exist here and I desperately wish they did. While there is a little bit of Mexican food in France, it’s not authentic and the Old El Paso taco kits don’t cut it.
- Seasonings like Old Bay – Good thing it’s cheap to ship. Love Old Bay on fish.
- Non-dairy coffee creamer – I would use this all the time back home, but there’s no market for it here. Forget coconut milk or almond milk creamer.
- Frozen yogurt – Red Mango is popping up all over in the U.S. and I love the stuff to death. In France, a few knockoffs exist in Paris but they don’t compare.
- Bacon – Every now and again, I’d look forward to some Oscar Meyer in the morning. They have all kinds of hams here, but it’s not the same as good ol’ bacon. Some nitrate-free varieties would be nice too.
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