My pantry

Let’s have a little bit of adult talking going on here.

I come a across a lot of products called “french” when grocery shopping. A lot of them are marketing  stunts. From the packaging, the name and the photo, I can have an idea whether it is worth trying.

Voilà, my favorite (and delicious) french products I tried and love !

Bonjour! Petit-déjeuner (breakfast)   

These two are seriously divine ! You’ve got to read the instructions and take it out of the freezer the day before.

Yogurt in the US is probably a desert area for the French. I don’t know if you ever went to France in the desserts aisle: it is humongous!  Yogurt here don’t have the same taste and some texture.

Of Course it’s a matter of what we grow up with and what our  mouth is used to. Like Coca Cola does not have the same taste from a country to another.

Yogurt is a perfect exemple.

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It took me a few years to find the one I like and the one that is similar to what you can find in a French supermarket.

 

The main difference is the texture. American yogurt contains more gelatin than the European one.

 

The Stonefield plain whole milk is also good if I can’t run to Trader Joe’s.

 

 

 

Brioche

They are becoming more and more common and easy to find. They are authentic. I know the supermarket brands varies from one state to another, but you can find them at Whole Foods for sure.

There is a French brand sold in the US, but not easy peasy to find:

 

Here is their “where to buy” search, enter your city and see if you are lucky to have one near you.

 

Dairy products:

Butter and cream are two fundamentals of French cuisine. It comes from Normandie (where Omaha Beach is). I was born in this part of France and am obsessed with cream (sour cream) and butter.

For sanitary purpose, it is hard to find “la crème de la crème” of those products but it is not impossible to have good ones:

Butter:

How to tell if a butter will be good? Easy enough: the more fat, the better it is. Reason why European butters are tastier but also more expensive (fat contained in butter is expensive).

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Clarified butter: 

It is not French but not well known so thought I would share it with you. It has a higher smoke point (485 °F or 252 °C) than regular butter (325-375 °F or 163-190 °C). Clarified butter also has a much longer shelf life than fresh butter. It has negligible amounts of lactose and casein and is, therefore, acceptable to most who have a lactose intolerance or milk allergy. [1]

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Crème fraîche:

The closest you can find is the sour cream. It is similar, except that it does not handle well high temperatures.

 

 

 

Pies

Let me tell you, when I saw these products for the first time at Trader Joe’s, I was so excited! How did it ended up here?

And you know what? They are good !

Both of them are specific to the eastern part of France where its cuisine shares a lot of similarities with Germany.

(Sorry if you are expecting a good industrial Quiche pie tip. I tried quite a few but nothing is worth a good home made one. I will share my recipes soon)

La tarte Flambée also called flammekueche (bless you!)

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Tarte à l’oignon

Note: one is enough for two. I advise you to add green salad on the side.

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Macarons (not macaroons)

 

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You may find decent ones like at Trader Joe’s

 

If you are looking for a real macaron experience, you have to test Lette Macarons. They are based in California but ship nationwide.  Not only did I have them all. I also met with the owners a few years ago. They worked with one of the best and famous French pastry cook (pâtissier) to come up with this gems.

 

 

 

Links:

If you are looking for more, I invite you to look at those websites:

http://www.lepanierfrancais.com/

http://www.simplygourmand.com/

If I did not have the chance to bring back from France a whole suitcase full of our fav’, I would definitely order from this website!

http://miammiambox.com/

It is a monthly box filled up with good French snacks. The snacks all French kiddos grow up with, the ones I grew up with and the ones I still have when I go back home. (“miam miam” means Yummy in French).

http://www.babethsfeast.com/

I tried it when they opened. Was not impressed with it.

Please, feel free to ask questions and ask about products you have doubts about.

Bon appétit !

With love,

E.

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