Saturday, February 2, 2013

Food Gifts to Bring French People From America

I am up early this morning to write a new post but first read some new ones by my favorite expat bloggers. A post by David Lebovitz got me thinking about what food items my French friends and family would really appreciate as gifts from the United States when we return to Sablet this spring.

David Lebovitz is an American who lives full time in Paris writing books and interesting and informative posts on his blog David Lebovitz living the sweet life in Paris. Prior to writing books and starting his blog, David worked in restaurants, the last thirteen at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, with Alice Waters and co-owner, Executive Pastry Chef Lindsey Shere, before he left the restaurant business in 1999.

David was named one of the Top Five Pastry Chefs in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle and has written six books and been featured in, Bon Appétit, Chocolatier, Cooking Light, Food+Wine, Cook’s Illustrated, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Travel and Leisure, The New York Times, People, Saveur, Sunset, and USA Today.

David's post Food Gifts to Bring French People From America provides a long list of food items such as maple syrup, dried cherries and chocolate chips and kitchen items such as offset spatulas, rasp zesters and heavy duty aluminum foil. What do you think about his list and what would those of you who live in France add or subtract from it.

I look forward to your comments and to your ideas about what to add or subtract from David's list and in the meantime, I leave with you a couple of pictures Sara took with my mobile phone within minutes of each other last evening at Bodega Head.

Seagull at Bodega Head

Bodega Head is a small promontory on the Pacific coast of northern California a short distance from our Bistro Des Copains in Occidental. Bodega Head is considered a prime spot to observe the migration of grey whales. It is also one of the three points of the Red Triangle, a major feeding ground for great white sharks.

Me staring out to the Pacific Ocean at Bodega Head

Bonne journée mes amis et à bientôt.


  1. Wow, the weather must have been mild - no jacket!

  2. I can remember taking my children on picnic above the coastal waters between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach to see the parade of proud mam whales and their babies hugging the coast on the way back up to Alaska…amongst my fondest of memories.
    Wheat Thins…I miss Wheat Thins. Can’t bring an In and Out burger. And I can break chocolat for chips...

  3. I enjoyed David's post, too. When we go to the States we almost always bring back snacks from Trader Joe's (I have an addictive relationship with those sesame sticks) and canned chipotle peppers. We often get dried cranberries and pecans, and occasionally bring back sweet pickle relish (although I found a good recipe and now I can make it myself) and Tillamook cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese.

  4. That is a very good list and gives me a lot of ideas of just what it is I miss about the US! I would add that some US novelty candies like Hershey's kisses are fun to bring as well. It's easy to put in a suitcase and just something different they've usually never seen before.

  5. Tricia - Yes, it was a fabulous evening and probably warmer there than back in Windsor.

    Labergerebasque - Wheat Thins are definitely my favorite cracker and I would miss them too if I couldn't get some from time to time.

    Camille - I think that Trader Joe's has the best store-bought snacks.

    Tuula - I agree with you about the list; I am going to bring over some of those things for our pantry in Sablet since I now know I won't find them in France.

  6. So, I've got these two jars of Vegemite... Any takers?

    (Still loving your blog, Michel. We'll be leaving in March. I'm going to miss Sablet so much.)

  7. Once I shipped several boxes of heavy duty foil to myself in France, and I am so thrilled to have them. My French neighbors ask for chocolate chips, plus a cooking class to learn how to make them. Ironically, David's fabulous recipe for chocolate chip cookies recommends getting a great bar of French chocolate and cutting it up.

    And since I am teaching some American recipes, I take sets of measuring spoons, cups, and Baking Powder for my friends.

    Previously when I did private visits at vineyards, I took California wine, often a zin, but not always. This seemed to appreciated. Now I don't feel like lugging cases wine to France.

  8. McCardey - I am happy to hear you love Sablet like we do. We hope to see you there sometime again in the future.

    Sharon - Thank you so much for the feedback. When we head back in May, I will take heavy duty foil and baking powder with me so we have it at our house.