Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Parisian Grocery Cart--Part 3

First of all, I must say that I have been proven wrong, and I have never been so happy for that to happen as I am now. Two of my American friends living in France have informed me that I can buy baking soda here. So far, I have not been able to find it in my local stores; but now that I know it is out there I am more than thrilled. Hmmmm...maybe I should post about more things I can't find over here....chocolate chips maybe???!!! While I'm on it. Here is a list of things that I'm sure (well 99% sure) that I cannot find here.
  1. Corn Starch
  2. Chocolate Chips
  3. A wide variety of ice cream (think plan vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and pistachio flavors) I truly miss the occasional bowl of chunky, mint cookies and cream ice cream. You can buy Ben and Jerry's over here if you want to take out a loan.
  4. Peanut Butter is not impossible to find, but it is not easy or cheap. We do have some Eastern foods stores that sell some "ok" priced natural peanut butter, but we miss our natural peanut butter from the States.
  5. BBQ Sauce. Right now I make my own but we miss the good, spicy stuff from Kansas City.
  6. Mayonnaise without dijon mustard added. It can be found, but for me it is in one store hidden on the bottom shelf.
  7. Canned pumpkin.
  8. Bottled salad dressing. The French are masters at making their own vinaigrettes. They really have no need for the bottled stuff (much to my husband's disappointment). We have found some bottled dressings, but they really should just stick to making their own.
  9. Mountain Dew (I'm happy about this, and Jonathan is not). :)
  10. Good plastic wrap!
  11. Ziplock bags. All of our Ziplocks get washed until they have holes in them.
Honestly, there is not a lot on our list anymore! Each month we seem to find something new that we had missed before, and it makes our day! Also, if we are in a big bind, we can find most "American" items at a store near the Eiffel Tower. However, walking into that store to buy chocolate chips at around $6.00 a bag is quite outrageous. I was excited when I saw that they had Cheerios there, and quickly withdrew my excitement when I saw the 7 euro ($10) price tag on them. Oh la la!

To continue, I think have given you a fairly good idea of what we buy over here in my last two posts. It really is quite easy (after the initial culture shock and first year fog have lifted) to find "familiar" cooking ingredients here. In my smaller stores, we do not have very many choices. However, it is not hard to cook like I would in the US.

Here are some links from Google maps that will help you better see where we shop.

Franprix is where we buy our eggs, jelly, American bread, and a few other odds and ends.

Lidl is comparable to an Aldi in the States, and I buy quite a few groceries here.

Monoprix is where we get our milk and our coffee and teas. Any kind of school supplies are usually bought here also. This particular Monoprix is only a grocery store. However, there are many that carry household items as well as a large selection of clothing items and even a book section.

Picard is a frozen food store. It's great in a pinch, and actually has very good food. It is right across the street from our building.

This is our local fruit and vegetable market around the corner from us. I love shopping there.

If you would like to explore our neighborhood a little more, here is our apartment building that you can start from (1 rue François Coppée). Our apartment is on the right side, 3rd floor with the shutters opened, and above the blue car. Enjoy!!


  1. Hurray! I have an answer! Corn starch can be found as Maizena in more expensive stores, and as creme de Mais or amidon de mais in Lidl or Leaderprice type stores. Boy, it took me a long time to be understood on this one. I put it in a shaker to use as baby powder! Lidl should have little bags of mini chocolate chips, but otherwise I have my mom bring a big bag - lucky are those who have eaten my chocolate chip cookies in France!!! I hear you on the ziploc bags - the ones I find here are just thin cheap things. Rrrrgg. Anywho, hope you all are doing well! Grosses bises

  2. Well, I'm glad you found it. I think I have seen the Maizena brand but thought it was just corn meal. Our lidl here is smaller so I haven't seen the chocolate chips. My mom just sent us a few bags. Thanks, Jenna!

  3. Sarah, if you send me your address, I would happily send you some of the things you miss! It's the least I can do for you.

  4. got the answer that I was going to provide about cornstarch. I thought it would be cornmeal too, but when I opened the box I was very, very disappointed. Then, I ran out of cornstarch and searched the lists Debbie gave me when we arrived and found out it is Maizena! Yeah! It is exactly like our cornstarch and I found mine at Intermarche. I'm sure Monoprix has it too.