Sunday, November 18, 2007

American Stuff I Want When I'm in France

So because no place is perfect, I'm going to give you my "wish this country had this" list for when I'm in France. In other words, things I can't (but have to) live without when in France.

  1. Mexican Food (and I'm not talkin' 'bout Old El Paso)
  2. Ingredients for Mexican Food; healthy looking cilantro ("coriander" in hypermarches are pretty wimpy looking), limes that don't cost a fortune, taco seasoning, good tortillas, and jalapenos.
  3. Coffee to go
  4. Pepperoni Pizza
  5. Ranch Dressing (sauce for crudites may look like Ranch, but I assure you it doesn't taste like it.)
  6. American milk
  7. American hot dogs (for hubby)
  8. Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Butter Flavor Crisco to make homemade ones.
  9. Donuts
  10. Apple Pie, the good ol' American stuff (though with the Crisco I could make my own)
  11. Adam's Peanut Butter
  12. American style cake
  13. Cheeseburger, and please don't say McDo, that's not a real American burger in the way I'm thinking :)
  14. Salad consisting of more than just lettuce and vinaigrette when I go to friend's home's for dinner.
  15. Pasta salad consisting of more than just pasta and mayonnaise.
  16. Please, no yogurt for dessert!!!! It just doesn't cut it when you want a big, dirty piece of chocolate! (As my Aussie friend says).
  17. A big American breakfast at least once. (Eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns).
  18. Micro-brew beer. (Deschutes, Widmer, Sierra Nevada, etc)
  19. Prawns that don't come with the legs and heads.
  20. American grocery carts (what is the deal with the French all wheel drive?)
  21. Customer Service

Feel free to comment and add to my list!


La Belette Rouge said...

Bonjour, CC
Can you get the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies? I am imagining that they don't have the Pillsbury cookie dough stuff.
I think I would die without blue cheese dressing. Not available?
I have heard, that in Paris, there are restaurants that have American breakfast available.
I recently read a post about a new trend in hot dogs in Paris. I will attach it--sounds delicious to me.
Nice to hear the other side of the stuff you miss.

WendyB said...

LOL @ all-wheel drive carts.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Salut LBR-
Apparently shortening is hard to find (I use half butter flavor crisco, half butter for mine). But I could make them, yes. I guess I just never bothered to find the ingredients before ;) But what am I thinking? Who wants to make chocolate chip cookies when there are thousands of Bonne Maman Tartelettes to eat up?
We saw some restaurants in Paris that featured American breakfasts, but they were spendy and I really didn't want one that soon.
I checked out the hot dog link, merci! I really don't like hot dogs but I might if I tried that one!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Yeah those carts are crazy! Why do they make all four wheels spin like that is beyond me. I look like a real idiot in the hypermarche ;)

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

First, thanks for visiting my it has led me to yours!

Second, the Mexican food thing just about killed me in England...and now in Germany it is only by luck that I found ingredients at the markthalle.

Finally, YES! What is up with all wheel drive shopping carts!!! They were the bane of my existence in England...the first few times I used them I ended up ramming other people's carts. Can't they have the carts like in America???

Angélique said...

1. An iHop with large pancakes and waffles, served with loads of maple syrup, fluffy butter and rich peanut butter.
2. A juicy cheeseburger from Fatburger or In-And-Out Burger
3. Crispy bacon

I'm getting hungry just typing this.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Ok, are you from my husband's family?? PEANUT BUTTER ON YOUR PANCAKES WITH SYRUP? ;) His whole extended family eats them like that....I love pancakes, syrup, peanut butter, but not all together. I thought it was just "them". hee hee!
Anyhow, I agree with your list, and what I wouldn't do for an In n Out Burger right now....we live 4 hours from the nearest one. (But I did have crispy bacon yesterday!)

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Thanks for coming by!!! About the carts, I never did figure out the trick to not ramming others or shelves....but it seemed everyone else knew how to control them.

French for a While said...

I just stop after Mexican Food and coffee to go. We're in the South of France and I think the nearest Starbuks is in Lyon. Please bring one to Nice or Cannes!!

Betty C. said...

Pepperoni pizza and ranch dressing -- definitely.

A few years back we brought home ranch dressing mixes but without buttermilk, they didn't really cut it.

Deb said...

You nailed it! Just looking at your list made me hungry. Some Taco Bell sounds good right about now!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Just curious but is there anything similar to buttermilk in France? I never buy it here, so it never crossed my mind there. I usually just buy the Ranch in the fridge section, which is almost as good as making your own, but without the work :)

Cassoulet Cafe said...

TACO BELL! Isn't funny how good that sounds when you're thousands of miles away from it?! Even Jack in the Box tacos sounded DIVINE!

Betty C. said...

There's something called "lait fermenté" which is marketed to the Arab population, and I suspect it is something like buttermilk. I've never tested, though.

Anonymous said...

You can make almost all those things yourself, I have found after living in France for a while. It just means more work than in the US.
For Mexican food, you can find all the ingredients necessary for amazing guacamole and fresh salsa in the produce section. Some health food stores or foreign import stores carry black beans. Gouda is a good substitute for cheddar and tortillas found in the "Exotic Food" section are decent. If you find taco seasoning and mix it with rice and some sauteed bell peppers you can get a decent mexican rice. Coriander is just another word for cilantro. All the coriander I have bought from the supermarches seemed normal to me and delicious in guacamole and salsa. As far as expensive limes go, I can't help you there and it might be tough to find an avocado that isn't hard as a rock. I've seen hot peppers in certain Monoprixs but they will probably be hard to find if you take into account the French aversion to anything remotely spicy.
Concerning chocolate chip cookies, the wimpy little "pepites" you find in stores are sad excuses for choc chips. Look for chocolate bars with 50-60% cocoa which is the equivalent to semisweet chocolate and chop that up. You might have some trouble finding brown sugar but at certain Champions in the Bio section you can find unrefined sugar. And technically brown sugar is just refined sugar with molasses. You don't need crisco to make choc chip cookies. That's crazy talk. Google Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe and that's all you need.
Strasbourg sausages are pretty much the same as hot dogs. Don't know where you could find buns though.
Really you can get any of these things if you are enterprising and willing to search and make things from scratch.