You may be wondering if you plan on spending an extended time in Paris just what cookbook to bring along with you, or what may be hard-to-get groceries for cooking American dishes in Paris (such as a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins’).
Choose a basic cookbook such as Joy of Cooking or Fannie Farmer Cookbook, but be sure that the cookbook includes metric measurements as well as cups and ounces. Be sure to pack a set of measuring spoons!
In the past years, I used to throw some of these goodies in my suitcase, but many of the items are now turning up on French supermarket shelves (such as maple syrup which has practically become a staple).
Thanksgiving is one shop in Paris that supplies American grocery store items (as well as turkeys and cranberry sauce), but be sure to check out some of the larger Parisian supermarkets first such as Monoprix. The Montparnasse Monoprix (formerly INNO) has a good supply of products for homesick Americans including Paul Newman’s salad dressing).
Here are a few items you might want to throw in your check-in luggage to keep in your Paris pantry (It’s cheaper paying in US Dollars rather than Euros!):
1. Graham crackers (for cheesecake graham cracker crust)
2. Molasses (for molasses cookies, of course, but also barbecue sauce)
3. Liquid Smoke(for barbecue sauce)
4. Pickling spice (for sauerbraten)
5. Instant lemon meringue pie mix.
6. Cake frosting mix.
7. American pie pans/plates (the French tart dish is a different size and shape).
10. Cajun, Adobe spices.
11. Measuring spoons.
12. Flavored gelatine i.e. JELLO (unflavored gelatine comes in two forms, either as sheets, or sometimes in granules, but I’ve not had much success using either of these two forms).
13. Garlic, onion powders.
14. Pepperidge farm breadcrumbs/stuffing
15. Progresso breadcrumbs for your ‘Veal ‘french’ recipes’
Note: A word about breadcrumbs. The French word for breadcrumbs is ‘chapelure’. I guarantee you that when you’re in the grocery store looking for breadcrumbs – you will NEVER remember this word. The purists will say ‘well, who would ever use store-bought breadcrumbs?’ You can also ask for ‘chapelure’ at the bakery. However, if you’re in a restaurant, you’ll see ‘breaded fish’ for example described as ‘poisson pane’. ‘Stuffing, the kind you use for your turkey and roast of chicken is non-existent’. It is more often composed of ground sausage mixed occasionally with chestnuts – but not bread.
Likewise, fresh cranberries do not exist in France.
What you can find in most French supermarkets:
1. Maple syrup (usually Canadian)
2. Ocean spray cranberry juice (newly arrived!)
3. Baking powder (called levure chimique comes in packets).
4. Self-rising flour.
5. Pancake mix.
6. Prepared Chili (but not chili spice packages for making your own chili)
7. Worcestershire sauce
8. Hot red pepper sauce
9. Paul Newman salad dressing
10. Peanut Butter.
11. Marshmallows (sometimes)
12. Hamburger buns (sometimes)
14. Taco shells (El Paso taco mix)
15. Quaker oatmeal
16. Brownie mix
Some translations of typical spices you’ll need:
1. cinnamon – cannelle
2. nutmeg – muscade
3. ginger – gingembre
4. cloves – clous de girouffle
5. rosemary – romarin
6. thyme – thym (pronounced tain)
7. sage – sauge
8. horseradish – raifort
9. garlic – ail
10. dill – aneth
11. Salt and Pepper – sel et poivre
Happy Cooking in Paris!
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