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What's not (as) available..?


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We have managed to save up a lot of Nectar points and vouchers for food and have decided to do a "definitive" non-perishable shop before we move over in 3 weeks...

What would people recommend we stock up on that isn't easily available or cheap in France...

We look forward to hearing from you...

Emma-Jane Lockhart

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Gravy granules, mushy peas - yummy!  HP and Worcestire Sauce, Atora Suet, Marmite, Mint Jelly.

Its funny because a friend of ours gave us a Fray Bentos Pie and some Mushy Peas which we ate with glee lastnight.  The funny thing is though, I never even bought a Fray Bentos Pie in England so I don't know what I was so excited about.

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Amber, have a skwizz at Best of British, that might give you an idea of what Brits in France hanker for:


British products are getting easier to find - 4 years ago, I had to go to the Asian (foreign!) store to get anything British, but now they're usually in Hyper U or the big Intermarché.

I fully understand the Fray Bentos experience and my little missingness is oatcakes - don't know why, I just love 'em, and I've never seen them here.

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for me...

- Hellmans mayo

- M&S red pepper & onion relish - the most versatile red stuff out of a jar I've found

- Discovery Creole recipe sauce

- Tesco Korma sauce (diluted with******onut milk + add chopped fresh coriander makes a superb sauce for white fish, esp monkfish)

I can live without all of them but I do like having a few jars in stock.

One thing I can't find that is bugging me is fresh root ginger. Anyone else found a super / hyper that stocks it? Preferably in Manche / Calvados?



I really do *not* believe that the software prevents the use of the word

c o c o nut. That's insane!

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Most "favourites" of the british you can find a lot easier now in France from larger super and hypermarkets and the Comptoir Irelandais shops.  However as I do a lot of baking I stil have to get stocks in of things like Mixed Spiced powder, Baking Powder,Suet and decent curry powder as you can use a whole jar of it here and it is still tasteless. Other things we love include Vegemite as opposed to Marmite which is freely available here and Heinz Spaghetti rings. You will find that the longer you live in France the more you adapt your tastes.
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I agree with Val.  The longer you live here the more you adapt.  Or get used to doing without.  I used to have very long lists before but now it is just jellies for OH trifles - yes I know it is 'common' to use jelly - suet, Paxo, golden syrup....

I hoard golden syrup so it goes black and I have to chuck it.

Anyway, there are English shopping sites where you can get most things if you are desperate for strong white flour or anything Mr Cadbury makes.....

I have used one site once and they were very good.  Not used them since as been in the UK and shopped but will no doubt order again.

Ooh currants can be difficult to find too.

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The problem with currants, Alexis, is that you never know where they're going to be!

Leclerc sell piddly little packets, and they're beside the baking stuff, along with cake candles, powdered almonds etc.

The small SuperU sells nice big fat bags of currants, raisins, sultanas, but they're between the Viennoiserie and the fruit&veg, with not a cake candle in sight.  

Now - bicarbonate of soda.  I've NEVER seen a tub of this in a supermarket, it's only sold in those annoying little sachets.  But it exists in tubs, because the épicerie in the village has nice big ones (ooh err missus!).   Unless the supermarkets are hiding it between tins of Felix and Whiskas.

Rolled oats - as in Scott's Porage Oats - brilliant for Anzac biscuits etc, the staff in Intermarché said they'd be in the animal section! 

Baking is a different art altogether in France.  Haven't set eyes on Cream of Tartar.


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I got a large tub of Bicarbe from LeClerc about two years ago and keep it in a glass jar so it dosn't get damp. Will need to re-buy again soon as I use it a fair bit with plain flour.  Currants are known as Raisins de Corinthe and are freely available I find in the sections that do all the dried prunes,figs,apricots etc and not usually inthe Vahine type cake accessories.  Agree about the jellies, can't have a really good trifle without the jelly soaked sponge fingers and as for english sausages, even our cats wouldn't touch one, give me lovely french ones every day.


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I never thought the day would come when I wouldn't love Heinz Baked Beans, but now I much prefer 'Haricot Lingots' (Belle Chaurienne, cooked in goose fat, I think) and  only eat Heinz when husband has a longing for an English 'fry-up'.

Things we bring back - Tea bags and digestives, poppadums, bombay mix and indian pickles, j-cloths (can't stand the insubstantial french ones) and the odd tin of M & S chunky chicken.  As we are nowhere near any sort of takeaway, it is lovely to have an 'instant' dinner once in a while after a hard day's work.  We are also lovers of oatcakes!

Oh, and don't forget the Christmas pudding, mince pies/mincemeat and cranberry sauce!

Good luck in your new home!


47 Lot-et-Garonne



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Try using madelaines for your sponge when making a trifle - even nicer if you dip them in something like cognac, pineaud or calvados!

We always buy tea-bags, walkers crisps and chocolate buttons for the kids oh and my daughter absolutely adores Heinz tomato soup - fortunately (+expensively) available at the local intermarche.


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[quote]Try using madelaines for your sponge when making a trifle - even nicer if you dip them in something like cognac, pineaud or calvados! We always buy tea-bags, walkers crisps and chocolate buttons for ...[/quote]

Know what you mean. Local Géant was selling teeny weeny tins of Campbells condensed soup,remember those when you were ill as a kid and it always tasted better than the other makes,and they were charging over 2€ per tin which would only be sufficient for two at a squeeze. Local Super U here sells Heinz Beans at 1,85€ per tin which I suppose if you are desperate still makes a relatively cheap instant meal on toast with no waste. Parsnips are another thing the locals only bother with to feed the cattle and wouldn't dream of eating,but once they try them roasted they can't understand why there aren't more available here as all I ever see are shrivelled up little specimens. We're growing our own this year but need frost to help them in the winter and we live in a virtually frost-free part so it will be interesting to see how they do.
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Just thinking that I have never seen cream of tartar.  Bicarb is easy to find around here.  Try the pharmacie if you can't find it in the supermarket.

I have only seen currants once, in Carrefour, but I already had 'supplies' so didn't buy them.

Can't you get the flaçons d'avoine for your oaty things?  Always in the cereal section.  In fact, it is either Scott's or the other one.  Memory lapse.  Red box.  Lot dearer here though.

In the new Super U in St Meen they have an English section.  It is about 1m long with salad cream, mustard, brown sauces etc.  At the Intermarche there they sell parsnips in season.  Don't care for them myself but I grow them for a friend.

When I really fancy English food, I am lucky that Jersey is not far away.  Then I get there and look at the prices!!!

Still, I like looking at labels.  How sad it that?

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