Saturday, May 28, 2016

Things I Bring Back to France from America


Things I Bring Back to France from America
David, 27 May

No matter how many wonderful the foods, and other things, are in France, when I go back to the States, there are some things that I bring back to France with me. When I go to the other way, to the U.S., I pack things that I have a hard time living without or to give as gifts. Friends or hosts might get a loaf of Poilâne bread, a French cheese that’s elusive outside of France, a packet of salted butter, fleur de sel (French sea salt), Parisian chocolates, and for extra-special friends, a baked-the-same-day croissant. (Depending on my flight plans. And how much I like the person.)
unscented products

When I go the other direction, America to France, I pack certain things that I either can’t live without, because I haven’t found an equivalent, or I need (or like) to have them in my kitchen. For other room in the house, I stock up on unscented items. I, and my sensitive skin, and nose, aren’t fans of scented or over-scented items. (I once even saw vanilla-scented papier toilette. I like vanilla and all, but…) And yes, that’s me opening laundry detergents and smelling them in the supermarché aisles. I’m waiting for the day I get busted (or however you say that in French) for doing that.
While I was packing my suitcase after a recent trip, I thought I’d share some of the things that were going back with me. I had a few books, snack-sized zip-top bags (which I once bought by mistake, but are great for small bits of things), and Tom’s toothpaste (I once ran out and used Romain’s toothpaste, which I found out was fennel – yuck…). I had the usual tangle of electronic cords and adaptors, which I finally organized by buying a cable organizer. I know, I know – Marie Kondo says not to buy organizers, but until they come up with a single cord and plug that works for everything (…please! And now there’s a movement to replace all our USB cords…oof…), I needed a better way to make sure I didn’t leave a cord behind, going in either direction.
oxo spring loaded ice cream scoopSpring-Loaded Ice Cream Scoop: The French love ice cream – what’s not to like? So why couldn’t I find spring-loaded ice cream scoops in various sizes for cookies? I didn’t get it until one of the clerks at MORA told me, “Because the French don’t make cookies like you do in the U.S.” Oops. Got it. He was right. While the French make cookies, they don’t really do cookies where the dough is dropped; they’re usually rolled and cut out. The size that’s available in France is used for scooping ice cream, like those restrained scoops at Berthillion, that make you want to order a triple, even though that’s très Américain.

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