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Jul 14, 2014 06:38 PM

What foods unavailable in US not to miss in France?

Will be in Lyon, Provence region, and on to annecy July 24 to Aug 5 and wondering if there are interesting foods (dishes, drinks or single items like a sausage or cheese ) worth having that we can't find in the US or hard to find. For example years ago having Jamon iberico de bellota in Spain when it wasn't legal here.

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  1. Around Lac Annecy, many places that serve petite fritute du lac, tiny little fried fishies that you eat whole. Also dios, which are fat little sausages. Both delicious.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve

      1+ for Friture (typo fixing)

    2. Raw milk cheeses younger than 6 months old.

      2 Replies
      1. re: babette feasts

        Or just tell them at any serious fromagerie that you'd like to see cheeses that are 'liquide.' I'm sure you will find many types that are rarely seen in the US.

        1. re: babette feasts

          It's a good thing these are banned in the U.S.. People in France are dropping dead left and right from these cheeses....

        2. Blood orange juice, Schweppes Zero, any number of cheeses, local French wines, good French pastries, several kinds of packaged chocolate and nut biscuits, and really good butter.

          1. Besides what others have suggested:

            Foie gras, for certain parts of the US
            Fresh oysters at the fishmongers eat every neighborhood
            Breads baked fresh many times a day
            Biodiversity in general, like rare species of tomato, crosnes, topinambour
            Rilletttes d'oie

            Around Annecy, a special rich dish not for the faint-hearted: Tartiflette. I recommend you go to the farm Charbonnière ( 1539 Route de Thônes, between the beautiful lakeside village of Menthon St Bernard and the inland village of Buffy, on Route de Thones, across the lake for this ultra-fresh version, where all the ingredients from the meats to the veg and the butter, are from the farm. Last but not leats, the magnum opus reblochon is made fresh from the farm. If you reserve instead of showing up at the last minute, not only are you guaranteed not to be turned away, but the tartiflette can be pre-ordered, and the reblochon will have been drip drip dripping on the meats and oionn at your table for hours before your arrival. -- Be forewarned. This is a real farm. The setting is beautiful, but nothing is designed to be cute as in a cute farm or cute service. The service is definitely not cute. It is very no-nonsense. Do pre-order the tartiflette, as the rest of the menu - don't even remember if they serve much else - is not unique like the Big T. And you won't eat for days afterwards.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Parigi

              Mon dieu, I wish I could go there right now. Reblochon is one of my favorites, and the tartiflette sounds fab.

              1. re: Parigi

                There is also reblochonnade, yet another cheese and potato dish of the Haute-Savoie. If you want to eat nothing but cheese and potato for a week at a time, you could do that in the Savoie and still not eat every variation.

              2. I'll add white peaches in the summer which are better in France than the US, and also fresh figs. Tomato salad should be ubiquitous in the countryside. Farcement (aka farci savoyard), which is a savory cake of potato, prunes, dried fruit: the kind of thing you might find in a traiteur, though I am not sure if this is found in the lower elevations like Annecy.

                9 Replies
                1. re: Steve

                  So where do you find good peaches? I haven't had one in ten years.

                  1. re: souphie

                    head out to a cuillette....there are a couple in the 77 that produce really excellent products.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Please don't lynch me for asking ; where is 77 ?

                      1. re: Parigi

                        the rather large department that lies just to the east of Paris...Seine-et-Marne

                          1. re: Parigi

                            I shopped regularly at the 3 Chapeau de Paille locations -- Rutel has a large "recolte" board, but I only ever stopped into the large store, as I was typically on my way home from work.

                            Plessis a Chanteloup (sorry, for some reason, typing the accented a is resetting the page...!) is brand new within the last 3 years, so I don't know if their trees are mature enough to bear yet. I've picked at least my body weight in other produce, though.

                            My favorite by far was Cuillette de la Grange (conveniently reachable from the A104 at Brie-Comte-Robert) -- their farm store is HUGE, and bursting at the seams with all kinds of wonderful products -- the acreage is similarly enormous, and we picked peaches and succulent mirabelles there every year, then back in the autumn for more apple varieties than I can possibly remember.

                    2. re: souphie

                      I had very delicious ones from a fruit stand in the 11th near Nation. Might have been at the weekly outdoor market where I also had some good manakish. I doubt they had any kind of special supply.....

                      I think you can get supremely juicy, soft, ripe, and fragrant white peaches in so many places in France. This would be an extreme rarity in the US where we don't get that many, and the ones we do get ripen poorly.

                      1. re: souphie

                        Amazingly enough after a decade long peach aversion, at the small asian market near the courthouse in San Francisco, found 10 varieties of peaches l had never seen before, took three of them on the plane and was heard moaning over 5 states.
                        Yeh, yeh, yeh l know it is off topic.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          Even more off-topic, but with further information: DCM refers to the Wednesday Civic Center farmers market. -- Jake