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robf1234

food to take to france ?

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Anyone who has had French coffee will be keen to take their own over as its awful - we take shredded wheat with us and baked beans but other than this it’s local

supermarket or market all the way. We eat the BBQ packs which are much better vfm than normal meat

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As with anywhere else in the world;

Marmite, marmite and even more marmite.

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I've just been looking for some baked beans here in central France and I can't get them.    Also for some reason Cucumbers are expensive here! 

 

We've certainly noticed an increase in prices in general over the last few years.    

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The only problem I've found with French coffee is that a lot of it is too finely ground for a cafetière. But some supermarkets (and a lot of market stalls) will grind it for you exactly how you want it.

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You can get tinned beans in France but they have no tomato sauce and sugar in them.

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5 hours ago, Lost in France said:

I have to visit the UK in a couple of weeks, so can you tell me where I can get butcher cut to size Ribeye steak for 10. 50€ a kilo please.

Or chickens for less than 3€ or pork steaks for less than 7€ a kilo.

 

To the OP, the only things we now bring back to France are tea bags (French 'English Breakfast' tea is individually wrapped so fairly expensive but is as good as real English tea), pork scratchings and bottles of Marston's Pedigree.

Don't bother with supermarket rubbish.   Go to the local markets that are held, usually in large towns.   We have Ashton-under-Lyne market, Bury market and Bolton market, all with great butchers, especially black pudding at Bury

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13 hours ago, iansoady said:

 

I'm astonished you say that. Even fruit in French supermarkets is far better than in the supermarkets in the UK, where things like peaches and apricots are like bricks. But buy fruit from a French market and it's like being in heaven!

 

Admittedly it has to be eaten within a few days but that just means another delightful trip to the market.

 

As for bread, the standard baguette is still €0. 90 as it has been for years - I believe they are price controlled. Again need to be eaten when fresh but the morning cycle to the boulangerie is another of life's treats.

 

I don't believe that in general French food is much more expensive unless you insist on buying what you would in Britain.

We spend 3 months in France each year in our caravan and tour wherever our fancy takes us and stick by what I said previously. I still say that the quality of fruit and veg is not as good as at home but we still buy it. It is difficult to find decent bananas, unless you like them soft and starting to go black, carrots are often floppy, cucumbers that are soft, and fruit that quickly goes on the turn. Yes, their apricots, nectarines and peaches are certainly often better than what we find at home in our supermarkets from a juicy perspective but you do need to eat them quickly. Grapefruits were twice the cost of what we buy at home. The small tomatoes called Couer du Pigeon which over here in our supermarkets  would cost just under a pound were selling for between 1. 99 and 2. 49 euros for a lesser quantity.   Haricots vert are often thin compared to the imported ones we get at home and are near twice the price.

As for bread yes you can buy a baguette for as cheap as 65 cents and we often did and it is far better than we buy at home but as I said our favourite loaf is a small Campagne and there is one particular place that we stop at on our way home in France where I wish the local boulangerie could be taken back home with us. Yes, you do need to eat the bread on the day but that is what you should do anyway.  

Anyway we love France and wouldn't keep returning if we didn't and for us the additional costs are not important but may be to others who may be on a lesser budget.

Alan

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6 hours ago, Babstreefern said:

Don't bother with supermarket rubbish.   Go to the local markets that are held, usually in large towns.   We have Ashton-under-Lyne market, Bury market and Bolton market, all with great butchers, especially black pudding at Bury

Unfortunately, I will only be going as far North as Sussex but I'm still hoping that AlanS will tell me where I can get meet at half the price I pay in France and it will be.

We had friends in Bury and agree that the local black pudding there is very good.

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8 minutes ago, Lost in France said:

Unfortunately, I will only be going as far North as Sussex but I'm still hoping that AlanS will tell me where I can get meet at half the price I pay in France and it will be.

We had friends in Bury and agree that the local black pudding there is very good.

Try, Tesco, Aldi or Lidl when you are next over in the UK and you will see the difference in costs. If you are trying to say that the cost of living in France is cheaper than in England then you are living in 'cloud cuckoo land'. It doesn't bother us or put us off going to France as we can fortunately afford it whereas others may be on a tighter budget and that is why I suggested that 'newbies' might like to stock their freezers with certain items that we consider to be much more expensive in France than at home.  

Alan

PS One thing we have thought about on our travels through France is that you don't see many Cows, Sheep and certainly Pigs like we do at home and where we do see them, their herds are fairly small in number. There are many chicken rearing sheds to be seen all over the place and of course they are great arable farmers and do it on a very grand scale.

 

 

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7 hours ago, AlanS said:

Try, Tesco, Aldi or Lidl when you are next over in the UK and you will see the difference in costs. If you are trying to say that the cost of living in France is cheaper than in England then you are living in 'cloud cuckoo land'.

Alan

I do use Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and others when in the UK but still haven't seen meat at under half the price I pay in France.

Overall, I find the cost of living in France much lower in France, no car tax, Council and other taxes much lower, food we find swings and roundabouts, particularly if you ignore the BOGOF offers in the UK, which while good value mean you finish up spending more than you possibly wanted to.

 

7 hours ago, AlanS said:

PS One thing we have thought about on our travels through France is that you don't see many Cows, Sheep and certainly Pigs like we do at home and where we do see them, their herds are fairly small in number. There are many chicken rearing sheds to be seen all over the place and of course they are great arable farmers and do it on a very grand scale.

France is still a country of small family farms, so yes, the herds are small, It also depends where you are.  Equally, I can't remember seeing many herds of anything in my recent travels around the UK.

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I'm always amused when this question crops up and the phrase 'coals to Newcastle' comes to mind.  The only thing I insist on is Yorkshire Tea for my breakfast cuppa and the rest of the time I drink coffee ( real coffee, not bits or dust out of a jar! ).  I eat differently when I'm in France and I don't go seeking out equivalents.  I enjoy the change from my British diet and I embrace the French one and I accept that it is different - not better or worse but different.  I'm just back from my annual four week trip to France and I thoroughly enjoyed it!     😃

 

John.

Edited by Leedslad
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This may inform the discussion (insofar as it has related to meat).  Suggests meat costs in UK are 92% of those in Europe as a whole, whilst France is 119%.  PS I'm going veggie before taking the van to Switzerland!

 

image.thumb.png.38b4728963858b3188b77fa0958952dc.png

Edited by Stockcroft

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8 minutes ago, Stockcroft said:

This may inform the discussion (insofar as it has related to meat).  Suggests meat costs in UK are 92% of those in Europe as a whole, whilst France is 119%.  

 

image.thumb.png.38b4728963858b3188b77fa0958952dc.png

Well, they were that data was gathered. How old is the data?

Those caravanners looking for a cheap holiday need to visit Albania.

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7 minutes ago, Ern said:

Well, they were that data was gathered. How old is the data?

Those caravanners looking for a cheap holiday need to visit Albania.

 

As far as I am aware MyTravelCost is a reliable data comparison site run by economists (yes, yes oxymoron alert!).  The source for the data is shown as Eurostat (the statistical office of the EU).   Date of data not shown.   There are some other interesting comparisons http://www. mytravelcost. com/country_prices/

 

I'm not buying any meat in Albania.   The only time I ever went there (on business) we were taken to a smart basement restaurant in Tirana for lunch by our hosts.   My colleague insisted on them ordering what was good and local on the menu.   Shortly before the food arrived there was a power cut (frequent in Albania then) so the meal commenced in very, very dull candle light.    I couldn't make out the type of meat I was eating but it had a strange blamange like texture.   Suddenly the power returned and I lost my appetite. .....a sheep's brain sat staring back at me on the plate!

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1 hour ago, Leedslad said:

I'm always amused when this question crops up and the phrase 'coals to Newcastle' comes to mind.  The only thing I insist on is Yorkshire Tea for my breakfast cuppa and the rest of the time I drink coffee ( real coffee, not bits or dust out of a jar! ).  I eat differently when I'm in France and I don't go seeking out equivalents.  I enjoy the change from my British diet and I embrace the French one and I accept that it is different - not better or worse but different.  I'm just back from my annual four week trip to France and I thoroughly enjoyed it!     😃

 

John.

As said the French do not know hoe to make a decent sausage as they make them too salty.   They have no concept of what bacon is which is why we take our own.   Never been able to find a decent porridge so take our own.   Don't like their coffee.   The first time we went across to France in 2016 we took virtually nothing and learnt the hard way.   Otherwise we buy our weekly shop from Carrefour and have found it to be expensive but that is the penalty you pay to enjoy yourself.   :D

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We take whatever's in the caravan and home fridge with us.

 

The only things we'd possibly miss would be Yorkshire Tea - 20 bags will probably see us through 2 weeks though. We'll make sure we have enough food for our meal on the first night, to avoid having to stop with the caravan en-route (though that tends not to be too hard anyway as most French supermarkets seem to have big car parks).

 

I can see the point about sausages - 'ours'  really are better in terms of flavour without too much salt, but good ones can be found.   Meat does seem a little more expensive but then seafood seems cheaper and more prolific.  

 

UK fresh produce has come on dramatically in the last 20 years and in the big supermarkets now rivals the French. I would say the beat us for choice / freshness and local provenance but we beat them on quality and longevity.   The last two are important for families who may have less time and not want to do a market shop daily.   

 

Food and camping will be our main costs in France but we'll eat out less. We also find that in France we spend much less on things like parking and "visitor attractions" and that places to visit are more sensibly priced than here.   We'll swim, walk and cycle.   Somewhere like Cornwall, the Lakes etc in the UK every activity seems to be monetised.   

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13 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

As said the French do not know hoe to make a decent sausage as they make them too salty.  

The major difference between British and French sausages is the meat content, British pork sausages have to contain 42% meat (30% for other types of meat sausages), although to be classed as meat, the Pork can contain 30% fat and 25% connective tissue and 1. 3% salt, whereas Toulouse sausage, my favourite, has to contain 80% lean meat and between 1. 5% and 1. 8% salt.

 

19 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Don't like their coffee.   

French coffee is an acquired taste but I can't stand the weak dishwater served in the UK now.

 

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We eat mainly salads and fruit when in France. Bits of meat, charcouterie and cheese. Shop daily like the locals and eat like them. Shopping for food is one of the best things about non-hotel holidays.

It beats me why people would want to have a full English breakfast or BBQ when its 30 degrees. I don't get that at all.

But we do take Yorkshire tea, and instant coffee - i'm a coffee pleb! Used to take a jar of marmalde for the morning baguette, but now we try an unusual local jam instead, something we couldn't get t home, or local honey.

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10 minutes ago, Lost in France said:

The major difference between British and French sausages is the meat content, British pork sausages have to contain 42% meat (30% for other types of meat sausages), although to be classed as meat, the Pork can contain 30% fat and 25% connective tissue and 1. 3% salt, whereas Toulouse sausage, my favourite, has to contain 80% lean meat and between 1. 5% and 1. 8% salt.

 

French coffee is an acquired taste but I can't stand the weak dishwater served in the UK now.

 

 

Though even Tesco's bog-standard pork sausages are 72% pork. You may need to update Wikipedia as it has Toulouse Sausage as 75% lean meat and not under any protected status (i. e. no specific recipe)

 

I find it strange that offal has become trendy of late, but only if it's either foreign or artisan.   People will happily eat  tripes a la mode de Caen or pajata but get all sniffy if it's in a tasty British Banger.    

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11 minutes ago, svimes said:

Though even Tesco's bog-standard pork sausages are 72% pork. You may need to update Wikipedia as it has Toulouse Sausage as 75% lean meat and not under any protected status (i. e. no specific recipe)

72% pork what? :-)  Label Rouge Toulouse Sausage, which I buy, is 80% lean meat.

 

12 minutes ago, svimes said:

I find it strange that offal has become trendy of late, but only if it's either foreign or artisan.   People will happily eat  tripes a la mode de Caen or pajata but get all sniffy if it's in a tasty British Banger.    

Not really surprising, fashion is cyclic, my parents often had tripe, also (so called) celebrity chefs have to come up with something 'new' to keep their publicity and high prices alive.

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9 minutes ago, Lost in France said:

72% pork what? :-)  Label Rouge Toulouse Sausage, which I buy, is 80% lean meat.

 

Not really surprising, fashion is cyclic, my parents often had tripe, also (so called) celebrity chefs have to come up with something 'new' to keep their publicity and high prices alive.

 

This is kind of the point I was making.   Within reason, I don't mind too much what goes into a sausage, so long as it's tasty.   I accept that it's a good way of efficiently using the animals that we rear (at great cost) to kill and eat.   I don't see it as any more or less acceptable than many of the exotic / artisan offal and charcuterie products that are on offer and were created to serve the same purpose.

 

When I want pure meat, that is what I buy.   If I find a tasty French sausage, I'll have that too but so far they (and many of the German ones) have been far too salty for the rest of the family.   Taste rules!

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18 hours ago, iansoady said:

The only problem I've found with French coffee is that a lot of it is too finely ground for a cafetière. But some supermarkets (and a lot of market stalls) will grind it for you exactly how you want it.

As you suggest several Auchan stores allow you to grind the beans yourself, as fine or coarse as you like, so I suspect they're not alone in this.

Gordon. 

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We toured New Zealand and bits of Australia in successive years,  living off food from supermarkets like PaknSave and Woolworths.  When you have done that, without any back up supplies, you realise that taking food to France is completely unnecessary.

 

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It has been suggested that it is cheaper to eat the French way but what would you suggest is the French way of eating?

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If our French friends are anything to go by, more food tends to be freshly bought and cooked on the same day, rather than buying tinned or frozen. Things are changing though and increasing we are seeing "convenience" foods on sale in the supermarkets.

Gordon

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