My partner, Yann, is actually from Réunion, which an island off of Madagascar that is a French overseas department. That still means he has French citizenship, though, and he's lived in Bordeaux for a few years now. He asked me what I wanted, and I had two requests, both of which he fulfilled...
...Orangina-flavored Haribo gummies and a French magazine!
Sure, they sell Orangina and they sell Haribo gummies in the U.S., but they definitely don't sell this amazing hybrid! They're my absolute favorite!
Obviously, this has gotten me thinking about France, and how much I miss certain foods and experiences. So I'm going to take a walk down memory lane and tell you about some of these amazing things!
1. Crème de marrons (chestnut cream)
This is a sugary chestnut spread, emphasis on sugary. It has no chocolate, but if you like Nutella, you'd love this! Spread some on a tranche de baguette (piece of baguette) or gaufre (waffle), use it as a beignet filling, the options are endless. Basically, treat it like you'd treat Nutella.
|c/o Lucky Mum|
2. Les librairies (French bookstores)
Sure, we still have the looming Barnes and Noble, but American bookstores have nothing on French bookstores. As the French have not (yet) moved onto the Kindle and other electronic forms of reading, bookstores are still a thriving business. I loved browsing the local bookstores for novels to read, such as L'été 76 and Dans les forêts de Sibérie, but the best were the anciens livres, or old-book stores. There are shops completely dedicated to these historical treasures, but they come with a steep price--for example, such an old edition of Les Misérables costs over 1000 euros, or over $1300! These stores also sell old maps, prints (of which I bought many), etc. For the most part, though, the shopkeepers are delighted to talk about their books, even if you're not interested in buying any.
|There are stores with books like these all over France.|
c/o Camille Sourget
3. Le reblochon (reblochon cheese)
It really is a shame that unpasteurized cheese is illegal in the United States, because it's the best French cheese in my opinion. It's creamy and soft (a little firmer than brie), and it goes great with baguette or with jam. A kid in my French class actually received reblochon in our box of goodies but, of course, it went stale during its trans-Atlantic transport. So when we opened the box in class, we were greeted by that, um, pungent scent. Hey, at least it makes a funny story!
4. Les boulangeries (bread-and-pastry shops)
There are stores that devoted to baguettes, brioches, croissants, pains au chocolat, éclairs, tartes, and just about every other French bread and pastry known to man on almost every corner. Please remind me why this isn't a thing in the U.S.?!
|c/o Inspire & Charm|
5. Le petit déjeuner français (French breakfast)
Toasted baguette, whipped butter, fruit preservatives, un pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant), orange juice, and café au lait. Need I say more?
|This was my actual breakfast on my last day in France. Another one can't come soon enough!|
I know a lot of you have been abroad. What's something you miss (and from where)?
A très bientôt, la France!