Aaron has a philosophy that we have adopted in our life: Always try new things! I am a creature of habit when it comes to grocery items. I tend to buy the same things week after week and never look at the shelves for anything other than what is on my list. This same thing happens to me in France, especially when I have others with me. I try to get in and get out as fast as possible. The last few weeks I have tried to go by myself so I can enjoy the experience and actually look at more items on the shelves. We have discovered a few items we now add to our weekly list and each time we go, we try something new! I could take pictures of almost every item in our fridge and pantry, but I am sharing just a few!
The above picture is mustard pickle potato chips. Julia and Alexis discovered these in a rest stop gas station on our trip to Italy. It was a small, expensive Brets bag of Salt and Vinegar chips. Everyone loved them and to our surprise they sell them in a larger (not American party size larger, just larger) bag at our local Carrefour Grocery Store. To clarify the size, the large size is only 125 grams or 4.4 ounces, which equals about 4.5 snack size bags of American chips. One person could easily eat this whole bag of chips in one sitting within a few minutes. But, they are really tasty!
This looks exactly like the Barilla pasta in America, but the only difference is the quantity. In the States I usually buy a 16 ounce/ 1 pound box of pasta. Our family can eat a box of pasta with each person only having one serving. Here in France, I can buy the same pasta but in a 2.2 pound box! It is great for a large family! The larger the grocery store the better selections of the type of noodle you can buy in this large quantity. I wish these large boxes were sold in the USA!
Of course, Aaron loves the cheese here in France. The cheese selection is amazing in France, except for cheddar cheese. I have never been a lover of cheese, so I don’t get overly excited about cheese. But, I am so fascinated by the choices of cheese. Sometimes I just slowly walk down the AISLES of cheese and wish I liked cheese more. I have found a small bag of shredded cheddar cheese. It is the closest thing I can find that tastes similar to the medium or mild cheddar cheese we love to eat back in America!
The butter in France is delicious! My kids would eat it straight off the knife if I let them. It has a little creamier texture and it is so good! I think one can find President’s Butter in America, but it is hard to find. I think I have found it once, maybe at a Whole Foods? If you find it in the States, you have to try it. I can’t guarantee it will be as good as it is here, but it is worth a try and the price!
This is one of our favorite salad dressings. One can find a selection of salad dressing on a few shelves in France. It is usually a dijon mustard base dressing and all the ones we have tried, we love. My kids love to put some on their plates and dip whatever they are eating in it, almost like a dip! Yummy!
This is Sirop, a flavored sugar syrup that you add to water. The French consume a lot of Sirop. When we vacation in France we always have a few varieties on hand to enjoy, but now that we are living here, I do not buy if often. It is all sugar. It is like the syrup one puts on a snow cone, but a little thicker. My kids love it, of course, and some of their favorite flavors are pineapple, mint and berry. The selection of flavors is large, from Kiwi to Licorice. Plus, Sirop is a good pantry item because if you have visitors stop by you can always pull this out to offer with water! I prefer a fresh lemon slice. My first time trying Sirop in France was about 21 years ago. I did not like it then and I do not like it now. Not my thing!
Last, but not least, PUDDINGS! Two summers ago, when we were here in France for a month we saved all the cute glass pudding jars. Our family had consumed over 300 jars in one months time. Can you say addiction?? Aaron LOVES these puddings. We have looked everywhere in the States for something similar and it just does not exist. Aaron has tried different brands but the La Laitière brand is his favorite. I do not like the texture of pudding so I cannot eat these, but La Laitière produces a chocolate mousse pudding that has a different consistency and they are yummy! They don’t come in the cute glass jars, only plastic. So it is not as romantic to eat as the puddings! The French, also, have tiny spoons for these desserts. It is a fun experience to eat these puddings, one we have not been able to duplicate outside of France!