Posted by: vlibrizzi | January 29, 2009

Cheerios and Oreos in Paris?

 Unlike some of my friends here in France, I didn’t really think that I  missed much about American food. Before I left the States, I worried that I would miss packing a Quaker Chewy granola bar in my bag for a snack, or that I would crave creamy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but no, not yet. img_1967

But for those Americans in France who are missing their Quaker oatmeal or A1 steak sauce, I found the store that will make them feel whole once again….in Paris! 

I was visiting the Marais (a neighborhood in Paris) yesterday afternoon with a few friends, peeking into shop windows and strolling down the winding streets, when we walked past one shop called “Thanksgiving.” Surprised to see a store named for one of our favorite American holidays, we had to walk in (and, of course, I had to take a photo). And, it didn’t disappoint! Honestly, the store was an American’s paradise. The shelves were lined with all the best traditionally American foods that we can’t buy here….Kraft mac and cheese, Stovetop stuffing, microwave popcorn, Cheerios, Oreos, Libby’s pumpkin pie in a can, etc. 

Although I haven’t yet entered the ex-patriate’s “negotiation phase” for food cravings (despite clearly entering it when dealing with French bureaucracy as noted in one of my previous posts), my friends and I were still like kids in a candy store….drooling over the refried beans and twizzlers, and greedily filling up our bags with our favorite American comfort foods that we can’t find in our local markets. I actually started to miss those foods and felt myself slipping into the negotiation phase, thinking to myself, “Boy, I wish we had ___ in France” or “French ___ is just not as good as ___”.

But then, as we approached the register to check out, the fairytale land of “Thanksgiving” ended.  We saw the prices.

5 euro for a can of refried beans! 8 euro for Nabisco graham crackers! They can’t be serious!

Suddenly, we didn’t actually need those Cheerios and Oreos anymore…French food sounded just fine to us. So instead of filling up our bags with groceries, we walked out of the store and had an amazing French lunch (with bread and wine, of course) for the price of a box of Cheerios.

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