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Wildfood.info • View topic - A French shop........... your suggestions please!

A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Order yourself a latte, and a pastry (The virtual cinnamon buns are excellent today). And have a nice chat.

A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 10th, 2010, 5:52 pm

We're off to France for a few days soon and usually pick up all manner of goodies on the way back... Last time we went however it seemed that the prices were very much the same as here with the exception of the wine which was infinitely cheaper so we stocked up on that and a few extra goodies such as duck confit, saucissons, raclette and other cheeses, gherkins...

I wonder if it's the same now....

What would you buy in France to bring back to the UK?
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Suelle » September 10th, 2010, 6:17 pm

We've felt much the same for a few years now, Luca. Not only is there a smaller price differential, but the sort of things we used be able to buy only in France are more widely available here now. It's certainly no longer worth going on the shopping day trips that we used to do, although we do bring a few things back when we're on holiday.

On our last trip, apart from cheese and wine, we brought back Cuban coffee, Maille 'Fin Gourmets' mustard, Puy lentils, Teisseire sirops and some eating chocolate - there's a different range of flavoured chocolate.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Catherine » September 10th, 2010, 6:20 pm

Baby biscuits/biscotti for George please and carrefore coffee pods for me :0)
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 10th, 2010, 6:24 pm

Excellent suggestion about the sirops Sue. Coffee and mustards are usually on our list anyway. Puy lentils.... thanks! I've added them to the list, they must be cheaper over there surely.

Let me know what Carrefour pods you want on Monday Catherine and I'll see if I can get them... as for the biscotti for George... you could drop into the South African shop near us and get some real man rusks!!! ;)
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby aero280 » September 10th, 2010, 6:34 pm

A bit of cheese - not too much or it will go off before (even I !!) can eat it.
Walnut oil.
Prunes.
Tilleuil infusion.
Fully synthetic Motor oil (for the car!!) Used to be a lot cheaper than UK but not so much now.

Also worth a look in a - clothes shop, usually on same Centre Commerciale as Auchan etc - some own brand, but seems to be a lot of end of line stuff, so hit and miss. But worth a look.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Zosherooney » September 10th, 2010, 6:49 pm

Ditto, we don't go anymore, unless someone else is paying for the travel fuel ! Have bought in the past, walnut oil, washing powder, alchoholic cordials. Nut vinegar, sausages, capers, Dijon mustard, peppercorns in brine, yummy!

Really miss trips to Loire Valley and caves. Mammouth supermarkets, O La La La !!!!
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Tatihou » September 10th, 2010, 6:55 pm

It's fun buying different brands or specialist items (such as very good walnut oil or gesiers or other duck products) but as far as most food shopping is concerned, France is now more expensive than England if you are comparing (say) Leclerc with Sainsburys. Sure there will be individual product differences but in general a like-for-like trolley shop in England will be cheaper, wine excepted. Generally, where I think France wins out is the quality and sometimes the price of fresh produce, particularly fresh fish - sardines at 3€50 a kilo for eg.

Edited to say:
I usually bring washing powder (Sainsbury's own brands) back from England nowadays because quality and price is better. As I visit my aged mother every couple of months, it's not a problem - and in fact, shopping for her when I'm over is what keeps me in touch with UK supermarket prices.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby chools » September 10th, 2010, 7:17 pm

Nearly 20 years since we lived in London and drove to the coast to pick up a bargain bucket shop return ferry ticket, sometimes for as little as £5 for a return to Calais

The only other item I used to buy that I can't see on your list is saffron which used to be very much cheaper in France but I've no idea if that is still the case?

I wonder if the likes of East Enders is still going in Calais, what a dive that was!

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby BelgianEndive » September 10th, 2010, 7:26 pm

Hi Luca: you are all right, I think the prices don't vary too much anymore but the freshness and the quality might be better for some things. I have a question: do you have the possibility to take back frozen things? If you do, I reiterate my advice about young fresh frozen ceps from Picard, maybe a foie gras cru from them also. Take back some blanquette de veau and some foie de veau. Would you like me to get some super stuff from the butcher? Like a pair of cleaned fresh veal sweetbreads? I can order them and have them on Friday for you, but you have to have a cooling bag.

As for the wine, take back some Chateau de Portillon, a Bordeaux from either 2007 or 2008, preferably the latter as it has a gold medal. I know you'd like it at 5,50€! :D
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Tatihou » September 10th, 2010, 7:33 pm

For very drinkable, full-bodied reds produced to a British palate, try Roche Mazet Cab Sauv or Merlot.

http://www.rochemazet.com/intro_fr.html

It's only about 2€40 a bottle and most British people we serve it to comment on first sip how much they like it. French people not so much. It's a brilliant wine to accompany winter red meat casseroles and I'm perfectly happy to drink it with well-flavoured chicken dishes too.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 10th, 2010, 7:34 pm

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby BelgianEndive » September 10th, 2010, 7:35 pm

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 10th, 2010, 7:42 pm

I don't know what the price is in the UK at the minute Elisa but will have a look.

BTW what can I bring you and OH? I know you're both coming over later on but in the interim... any goodies you can think of?
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby gillthepainter » September 11th, 2010, 7:45 am

Have a great time in France.
And enjoy your get-together.

I wish I were going with you in the back seat. We could turn the radio up and have a good old sing-song to the tunes.
Tired of that, we could then put on my French cafe double cd, and warble to Edith Piaf or Maurice Chevalier.

I'd bring back French toiletries in general. Their soap is better than ours.
We brought back 40 bars of the cream coloured one with a little sailor boy on the front. I'll have a look at the brand when I go upstairs.
Vichy dercos shampoo and conditioner. That's the best hair product I've ever used.

Don't forget the Amora mustard now!
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 11th, 2010, 8:56 am

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby BelgianEndive » September 11th, 2010, 10:53 am

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby ianinfrance » September 11th, 2010, 2:13 pm

I'm very late to this thread. However, I've got a few comments/suggestions. Picard sells ready de-veined raw foie gras, so that's definitely worth it. Dunno about their cepes, because we always get fresh and freeze our own.

As for walnut oil, please let us bring you over some really good artisanal stuff from here. I don't think it'll be cheaper, but it's head and shoulders better. Dried cepes. I bought a 150g packet at €12 at the market today - don't know how that compares in price with the UK, but would be easy to bring.

Wine - most Supermarkets have their annual wine fair now, so this is a good time to stock up well. Alcool à fruits? Not available in the UK.

Hope that helps. I'm afraid that because I'm doing the exact opposite, I have little or no idea of comparative prices, just what I get in the UK because we don't have it here.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Foodycat » September 11th, 2010, 2:18 pm

Waitrose have dried porcini for £1.78 - so with the exchange rate yours come in a bit cheaper. De-veined foie gras sounds like a wonderful treat!
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 11th, 2010, 2:53 pm

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby ianinfrance » September 11th, 2010, 3:06 pm

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby BelgianEndive » September 11th, 2010, 4:38 pm

Ian got dried ceps today, I just bought fresh ceps. Got some super parmesan and I shall be making Gaynor's carpaccio de cèpes. I usually make it once or twice a year in the fall. Do you buy the fresh cèpes Ian or do you go foraging? They were 30€/kg today. I'm using walnut oil too. I agree on the foie gras. Mind you I managed last year to devein it but what a tricky job! This year I shall be trying the frozen from Picard. We did eat it at New Year's at some friends and it was excellent. :D
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Dena » September 11th, 2010, 4:50 pm

I don't have anything to add to the list you've been given Luca, some brilliant suggestions. I look for some other things that I can't get where I live, but as you live in London, I don't think there is anything you can't find. I always try to bring back some endive - the green frilly stuff not what we call chicory. http://www.fotosearch.com/FDC002/925339/ Can't get it here :(

I hope you have a wonderful trip :D
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 11th, 2010, 5:33 pm

Gaynor's carpaccio de cèpes sounds divine Elisa. She would have loved this board wouldn't she.

Dena - I can get salad like that from Sainsbury's or from my greengrocer here in London. We call it frisée and have it with lardons and poached eggs. Delicious! I think I will pick up endives though as the price here is ridiculous.

Thanks Dena - I'm looking it forward to it.

Is anybody in France a member of Le Savour Club? We used to buy our wines from them and FIL is still a member I believe. If so, any good suggestions?
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby BelgianEndive » September 11th, 2010, 7:32 pm

Yes she would have loved this board, very much so, Luca.

Just asked OH about the Savour Club. He bought wines there but has not for quite a few years!
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby ianinfrance » September 11th, 2010, 7:49 pm

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Alouette » September 12th, 2010, 8:19 am

I usually buy a couple of ropes of smoked garlic if I can find them, also tins of cassoulet and confit duck.

Also Raid circular stickers (fly killer) which go on windows and are very effective. I've never found them over here.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby BelgianEndive » September 12th, 2010, 8:43 am

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby scullion » September 13th, 2010, 11:31 am

i tend to bring back or ask others for the stuff which i can't get, mainly banania drinking chocolate and mimolet vieille cheese (which you can now get in sainsburys but it doesn't quite taste 'vieille' enough). however the last load i bought was from the cheese stall at the french market ( it comes over to camborne/redruth/ truro at times and has a really good selection of cheese that you can't get otherwise) when it's there, along with a creamy portion or tartiflette, cooked in big pans, which i eat guiltily before i get home.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby StokeySue » September 13th, 2010, 12:01 pm

You've got most of things I buy

I'd add to that lot Soissons beans, and wine vinegar - good wine vinegar is a silly price in the UK compared to France, most UK basic wine vinegar is rubbish.

Decent La Mancha saffron is £2.75 for a little box at Brindisa, so probably not worth it.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 13th, 2010, 12:48 pm

Good ideas... thanks! Vinegar, Soissons beans and some ancient mimolette all sound good.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Sloe-Gin » September 13th, 2010, 2:56 pm

I always buy Napoleon Mandarine Brandy. No visit to France this year = no mandarin brandy :(
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby frenchcheesequeen » September 13th, 2010, 4:49 pm

It is a long time since we were in France but things I would still consider essentials to buy would be the ready prepared jars of celeriac so that I can produce an instant remoulade at any time of year, small one person tins of pate/foie gras for my sole consumption (they usually have a two or three year use by date) and bottles of high strength neutral alcohol for making preserved fruits. These are simply still not available anywhere I shop. Oh, and Loupiac pudding wines.
Most other things I used to buy are not impossible to find in Waitrose or a decent deli.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 13th, 2010, 5:11 pm

I don't think I've ever seen jars of celeriac. We will be bringing back foie gras paté as well. A pudding wine is a good idea - useful at Christmas.

Sorry you weren't able to get your brandy this year Sloe Gin!
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby ianinfrance » September 13th, 2010, 5:26 pm

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 13th, 2010, 5:44 pm

I'll have to have a look out for them as they do sound rather useful.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Catherine » September 13th, 2010, 5:52 pm

oooh, I just remembered that Bonduelle do diced beetroot in large plastic pouches in France. They were yummy. I normally only like fresh coooked beetroot, but this was delicious. Fantastic for salads
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby frenchcheesequeen » September 13th, 2010, 5:57 pm

Yup - Ian is right, Bonduelle Celeri Rape in glass jars is the way to go. One jar makes enough remoulade for six to eight decent portions.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 13th, 2010, 6:14 pm

Righty ho. Thanks for that info Carol. I'll put it on the list.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Sloe-Gin » September 13th, 2010, 6:46 pm

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby BelgianEndive » September 13th, 2010, 7:51 pm

Strange, I've never seen those jars. Mind you I always buy a fresh celeriac, although it is a lot of fuss to peel, cut and grate it. I'll have a look tomorrow, as I have to do a shop anyway and I'll let you know if I find it Luca!
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 13th, 2010, 7:59 pm

Thank you Elisa.

I suppose that you'd find it on the capres/cornichons etc aisle. It has never occurred to me to look for it actually. The local French deli to here sells Bonduelle ready made up remoulade in plastic containers (made with fromage frais I think) but no jars.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby ianinfrance » September 13th, 2010, 9:33 pm

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Zosherooney » September 13th, 2010, 10:12 pm

Luca,
My local (small Butcher) has merguez.........(stands back amazed. I have a pound in the Deep freeze for a winter day....
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 22nd, 2010, 5:31 pm

We weren't able to do as much as a shop as we wanted for various reasons - one being that Cité Europe is closed on Sundays but we still managed to pick up quite a few delicacies in Paris along with some of the other things I mentioned, and people suggested ,plus a rather unhealthy amount of red wine! :oops:

We have to go back in November and will be hiring a van so that will mean a large pre-Christmas shop.... Excellent news!! :D

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Catherine » September 22nd, 2010, 5:43 pm

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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 22nd, 2010, 5:49 pm

:lol: :lol: Luvey jubbly! I love Del Boy and Rodney but I sure as heck wouldn't go to France with them!!!

Afraid I couldn't get the rusks but will be able to in November when at a bigger store. They only had sweet rusks for older children.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Alouette » September 22nd, 2010, 6:11 pm

Cité Europe used to open on Sundays in the run-up to Christmas I believe, but I'm not sure there is the volume of trippers these days.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby BelgianEndive » September 22nd, 2010, 6:20 pm

We drove back to Brussels today and had a late lunch in the sun on a terrace. Just like summer! :D

I'd forgotten to tell you Luca that I did look out for the jars with celeriac (Bonduelle) as FCQ had suggested them and I would not have minded getting some. No joy unfortunately and I did inspect all Bonduelle veg jars etc. :( I'll have a look if we get to Leclerc next time (we rarely go there).
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 22nd, 2010, 6:29 pm

There are indeed special opening times at Christmas Alouette. I get emailed about them and once went rather closer to Christmas than I'd wanted. It was a horrendous experience..... never to be repeated. The queues were immense.
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Re: A French shop........... your suggestions please!

Postby Luca » September 22nd, 2010, 6:32 pm

Thanks Elisa - they do sound useful and just the sort of thing I'd like to have in reserve - especially at Christmas when I might want to throw an impromptu remoulade together.
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