Supermarket Sweep, French-Style


Here you are, living in a French village just across the border from Geneva, an expat landed in food-lovers’ heaven.

Tantalising foodie treats are all around you: the local boulangerie, boucherie and farmer’s market but you’ll be surprised to learn what treasures lie hidden on the shelves of your local French supermarket.

Set out with a short grocery list and you might be back with a Michelin map, a raclette grill, a new cookbook. Your boot may even hide a set of garden furniture. For a selection of delicious new treats, here’s what you should look out for:

  • fois de morue (white fish liver) – found in cans alongside sardines and tuna, delicious on bread, and quite addictive.
  • oeufs de lympe (fish eggs to spread on mini toasts topped with lemon)
  • boudins blancs (white sausages. Tiny ones are ideal for an aperitif and normal size ones are best for a hearty meal, accompany with warm apple puree)
  • saucisson (avoid cheap brands to keep your gut happy)
  • fois gras (what else? You’re in France after all!)
  • apéricubes (flavoured little cubes of cheese individually wrapped, ideal for an aperitif)
  • tapenade (olive spread to eat on miniature toasts)
  • caviar d’aubergines (eggplant spread)
  • tartiflette (mixture of potatoes and Savoyard cheeses)
  • cassoulet (from South West France, sausages, meat and white beans in a butter sauce)
  • north African food like couscous with ratatouille or meat
  • French cheese fondue, known as fondue savoyarde
Foie de morue anyone?


  • LA MAUNY white rhum (from Martinique)
  • Pastis 51/ Ricard (from Marseilles)


Frozen foods

  • potatoes cut into tiny cubes (children love them!)
  • crêpes au fromage or jambon (ham or cheese pancakes)


  • palets de dames (large round and flat spongy biscuits topped with a thin layer of jam and glazed with iced sugar, better bought from small bakeries)
  • bûchettes are eaten at Christmas time, these mini bûches (logs) are usually made of praliné, moka or chocolate, sometime ice-cream
  • merveilleux (‘marvellous’ a big meringue covered with crème patissière and chocolate)
  • religieuse (‘nun’ glazed cream pastry balls, one on top of the other)
  • éclair (‘lightning’ similar to ‘religieuse’ but in the shape of a log)
  • millefeuille (puff pastry and crème anglaise)
  • baba au rhum (spongy cake and liqueur, cream)
  • crêpes bretonnes (Brittany pancakes made with buckwheat)
  • biscuits St Michel (Brittany butter tea biscuits)

A table !



Photos credit and copyright C.A. 2012




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