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French Shopping...


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A random thread...

Having discovered that Ocado, in partnership with Carrefour, stock a decent range of French groceries* it got me thinking...

What do BFE Members stock up on in France, or where do they buy French products in the UK?

 

(*Mrs Jim apparently already knew this but forgot to tell me...)

 

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42 minutes ago, Jim said:

A random thread...

Having discovered that Ocado, in partnership with Carrefour, stock a decent range of French groceries* it got me thinking...

What do BFE Members stock up on in France, or where do they buy French products in the UK?

 

 

(*Mrs Jim apparently already knew this but forgot to tell me...)

 

 

Do you reckon we can keep BF going just by satisfying your Camembert and my Cheddar needs? Ed. 

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18 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Do you reckon we can keep BF going just by satisfying your Camembert and my Cheddar needs? Ed. 

Potentially - although I have been banned from bringing back anything too ripe after (despite putting it in a tupperware) one particularly fragrant delivery stank out my car and my in-laws fridge. If you send me your address, Ed, I'm sure I can convey you a couple of packets of vintage cheddar in the absence of regular cross-channel travel ;)

Usually I tend to bring back some Badoit (just because the price difference is daft) along with some Steak Hache (where the crossing time is sensible enough) along with other odds and sods. When fares used to be really daft, I did once do a run over to Calais just to buy things for a BBQ... just because.

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35 minutes ago, Jim said:

Potentially - although I have been banned from bringing back anything too ripe after (despite putting it in a tupperware) one particularly fragrant delivery stank out my car and my in-laws fridge. If you send me your address, Ed, I'm sure I can convey you a couple of packets of vintage cheddar in the absence of regular cross-channel travel ;)

Usually I tend to bring back some Badoit (just because the price difference is daft) along with some Steak Hache (where the crossing time is sensible enough) along with other odds and sods. When fares used to be really daft, I did once do a run over to Calais just to buy things for a BBQ... just because.

Wow.... yes ... I remeber those days very well......

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Anything we bring back is in the boot of the car for 36 hours so we tend not to bring back too much in the way of perishables. Daughter always wants t to bring back Babybel and it survives the journey. We also buy Haribo World Mix and Stroumpf. We have also brought back pamplemouse rosé which we enjoy in the garden on a hot day. Ironically the main thing we stock up on is malt whisky; we can buy it cheaper in the supermarkets in France than we can here in Scotland (we did our Christmas shopping in SuperU one summer). 

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15 minutes ago, elaine80 said:

Anything we bring back is in the boot of the car for 36 hours so we tend not to bring back too much in the way of perishables. Daughter always wants t to bring back Babybel and it survives the journey. We also buy Haribo World Mix and Stroumpf. We have also brought back pamplemouse rosé which we enjoy in the garden on a hot day. Ironically the main thing we stock up on is malt whisky; we can buy it cheaper in the supermarkets in France than we can here in Scotland (we did our Christmas shopping in SuperU one summer). 

We have a dedicated Haribo shop in the local shopping centre. They sell 'survival packs' of World Mix in bags cheaper than the boxes in the supermarket. 

Ed

DSC_0495.JPG

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Knowing that we were coming back to two weeks quarantine (which we observed pretty scrupulously), we went to Super U on the Friday armed with our 'one day a month, 20% off fruit and veg' voucher and stocked up for two weeks - and lots of other goodies too. So we left home at 3pm Saturday for the Connemara, and got beck home in England at before midnight. 

Everything was in perfect condition (even milk, etc) and saw us through the two weeks without needing to ask any favours of neighbours for emergency shopping.

Sell by dates have always puzzled me. In England you go to Sainsbury or M&S and have to search through the milk for a sell-by date  5 days ahead. The fresh milk in SuperU or Auchan usually has a three week date on it. 

 

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Not sure if by default they go for the 'filtered" milk which you can get in the UK. Bought some today that good until 28th September or 7 days after opening.

For anyone who has access to Costco, you can buy much larger jars of Bon Maman there at reasonable cost too.

One more from my 'from France' list is Grand Mere coffee. 

 

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46 minutes ago, rogerpatenall said:

Knowing that we were coming back to two weeks quarantine (which we observed pretty scrupulously), we went to Super U on the Friday armed with our 'one day a month, 20% off fruit and veg' voucher and stocked up for two weeks - and lots of other goodies too. So we left home at 3pm Saturday for the Connemara, and got beck home in England at before midnight. 

Everything was in perfect condition (even milk, etc) and saw us through the two weeks without needing to ask any favours of neighbours for emergency shopping.

Sell by dates have always puzzled me. In England you go to Sainsbury or M&S and have to search through the milk for a sell-by date  5 days ahead. The fresh milk in SuperU or Auchan usually has a three week date on it. 

 

We did the same, not rushing back before the 4am Saturday cut-off but looking forward to our outside 4 berth cabin (£5 supplement on our travel club freebee inside cabin) on the Sunday morning PA  sailing.  Stocked up at Super U St Pol de Leon on Saturday. When we got back we and got bread, milk and weekend papers delivered from our wonderful community owned village shop while in quarantine.

Just hope that we don't have to quarantine in France when we visit for 10 days at end of October.. But I think  of worse problems.

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Isigny butter is available at UK Sainsbury’s larger stores  as I buy it.  £2.50, not cheap but worth it as I used to always bring a few portions home with me that I bought in the self service and nice to be able to buy it in Poole!!!

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I am not sure that there is much that I can buy in France that is not possible to buy in the UK - it is just cost.

I haven't seen unpasteurised Normandy Cider in the UK - however I suspect that I could get it somewhere,

Things that we normally stock up on in France (apart from booze) are coffee filters,  4 fruit jam from Lidl and cooking chocolate

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46 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I am not sure that there is much that I can buy in France that is not possible to buy in the UK - it is just cost.

I haven't seen unpasteurised Normandy Cider in the UK - however I suspect that I could get it somewhere,

Things that we normally stock up on in France (apart from booze) are coffee filters,  4 fruit jam from Lidl and cooking chocolate

I hadn’t either but funnily enough I saw it on Saturday at a deli/bookshop in St Boswell’s which is near me they also do a great range of French cheeses.

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4 hours ago, Khaines said:

Isigny butter is available at UK Sainsbury’s larger stores  as I buy it.  £2.50, not cheap but worth it as I used to always bring a few portions home with me that I bought in the self service and nice to be able to buy it in Poole!!!

When Walt Disney's forbears arrived in the USA the immigration official made a mess of their place of birth,  d'isigny, in the name box. I always call it Walt Disney's butter.

I often bring back stuff from Bricos for great savings. I saved about £400 on my porcelane sink.

 

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Knorr Minestrone soup, completely different from over here, tried the Spanish one that is different again.  The wife picks up different cooking herbs, there's so much that is different to ours, some better some not but it feels better because it's French.

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2 hours ago, Solo said:

Knorr Minestrone soup, completely different from over here, tried the Spanish one that is different again.  The wife picks up different cooking herbs, there's so much that is different to ours, some better some not but it feels better because it's French.

Not just the minestrone and knorr but the the variety and quality of the packet soups by anumber of brands is brilliant and we always bring a wide selection back with us.

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14 minutes ago, wortley said:

I can't get Grimbergen beer here in UK  - do Ocado have it? But I can't get Ocado here either.

Beers of Europe is the site you want to buy from.  They sell all sorts of decent beers like Grimbergen, 3 Monts and Belle Rose. Whereas  they even sell Meteor if you want the true PMU watery lager experience.

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As avid home cooks, we make for the dedicated kitchen equipment aisle with Le Clerc being one of the best. We always pick up bits and pieces you can`t get here.Probably to do with the French cooking so much at home because there is an almost universal absence of `Ready meals` (thankfully) in the supermarkets. My daughter in law has her own firm baking celebration cakes so we scout for moulds not available here and whatsapp the pics to her and buy what she needs.

  The fresh fruit and veg and cheese aisles are always a delight but always after the wine and beer (Pelforth and Brune of course)

Aah well we`ve got the memories and starting to savour next years visit........Hope springs eternal non??

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We would always come back with France with 5 or so bottles of a certain white wine from the Super U: Vin blanc AOP Côtes de Bergerac moelleux Fonsecoste.

https://world.openfoodfacts.org/product/3256220653091/vin-blanc-aop-cotes-de-bergerac-moelleux-fonsecoste-u

I'm sure it is probably not a great wine as far as experts are concerned, but every year it was our favourite and we judged the performance of the French economy around where the wine was price-wise between 3.30 and 3.60 euros that given year.

Each supermarket only tended to have 3-4 bottles and so if we went out for the day to another town which had a Système U shop, we would go in there and get some bottles from there if we had already exhausted our local Super U in the town we were staying. 

I also as a teenager particularly enjoyed the wide array of stationery available in french supermarkets, especially as we often holidayed during 'La Rentrée' and so there were promotions a plenty. Because of course, stationery isn't available in the UK... 😅

I do promise that my family holidays as a child did not just revolve around going around supermarkets, honest. 

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7 hours ago, Paully said:

As avid home cooks, we make for the dedicated kitchen equipment aisle with Le Clerc being one of the best. We always pick up bits and pieces you can`t get here.Probably to do with the French cooking so much at home because there is an almost universal absence of `Ready meals` (thankfully) in the supermarkets. My daughter in law has her own firm baking celebration cakes so we scout for moulds not available here and whatsapp the pics to her and buy what she needs.

  The fresh fruit and veg and cheese aisles are always a delight but always after the wine and beer (Pelforth and Brune of course)

Aah well we`ve got the memories and starting to savour next years visit........Hope springs eternal non??

Have you noticed how UK supermarkets often have the fruit and veg at the entrance to give the impression of a fresh and healthy shopping experience? And then by the time you get to the checkout you already have a ratatouille at the bottom of your trolley as everything else has crushed it.

The French generally start with the promotional items,  clothes,  hygiene products and drinks and leave the fruit and veg until the end at the far side meaning they are on the top of your trolley. And then they end up in your first shopping bag and at the bottom of the newly-filled trolley after the checkout so by the time you get home you have a fruit salad ready prepared. And find the strawberries dripped juice down on to your new white tee-shirt, white toilet paper and white printer paper that you carefully put in the bottom at the start of your visit. 

Ed

 

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The French generally start with the promotional items,  clothes,  hygiene products and drinks and leave the fruit and veg until the end at the far side

Not sure I'd agree with that Ed. Our experience with the larger supermarkets/hypermarkets is that you encounter the fruit and veg first with the dairy and deli products on the left, Ahead of you is often the fish counter and a bit further along on the left at the end are the fresh meat products.

Housewares and non food goods are usually in the middle behind the checkouts ( although sometimes to the right as you enter the store) and at the far end of the store are the dry food goods, often the frozen foods and the soft and alcoholic drinks.The bakery is situated somewhere along the back but there is usually a better one outside the store.

Edited by cvabishop
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