Monthly Archives: January 2015

Paris is always a good idea

Paris is always a good idea

Paris est toujours une bonne idée. Paris is always a good idea, they say. The line is often attributed to Audrey Hepburn in the movie Sabrina. Joining the ranks of a long list of [American] expatriates who have stayed in the City of Light, Sabrina goes to Paris to find herself. She succeeds and returns home a confident, elegant woman. But Sabrina, the chauffeur’s daughter, never forgets the French capital, or her time there, and longs to return.

Paris is always a good idea. For many, these words ring true, for few cities in the world have the power to inspire and seduce as much as Paris does. Who would not jump at the opportunity to fly there, even if only for a few days?

Paris is always a good idea. The line sells well, as a visit to a favorite website of mine, etsy.com, reveals. Last night, I spent some time browsing, and had a hard time selecting a few favorite items. There were pages of them. Paris is always a good idea.  For creative types at least, it would appear to be so. I wondered if Audrey, too, would have liked some of them.

I spotted a pretty decal for my Mac.

Paris Decal 2

Decal Paris

Audrey loved Paris, and the Eiffel Tower. She would have approved.

paris is always a good idea
Audrey Hepburn. Funny Face (1957)

How about a shabby chic pillow?

Paris Pillow

Another good choice for Audrey…

Audrey Hepburn Pillow
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

This reminded me that even if the following item may seem tempting…

Paris sleep maskWe don’t all look as good as Audrey did while wearing one…

paris is always a good idea
Audrey Hepburn, as Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

What writer (or blogger) would resist these adorable pencils?

etsy pencils

 

Not me, and by the look of it, not Audrey…

paris is always a good idea

 

I was tempted by this delicate locket…

Paris Quote Locket

Audrey had such an elegant neck she did not need to adorn it…

paris is always a good idea
Audrey Hepburn in a Givenchy hat, Funny Face (1957)

When she did wear jewelry, she enjoyed glamorous statement pieces.

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday (1953)
Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday (1953)

If Paris is a good idea, why not make Paris part of your home decor?

Paris in Words Paris poodle Tower

Again, Audrey would assent.

Audrey Hepburn. Promo photo for Sabrina, (1954)
Audrey Hepburn. Promo photo for Sabrina (1954)

But sometimes, a more discreet statement is best.

Paris spoon

Even if Audrey occasionally had breakfast on-the-go…

paris is always a good idea
Audrey Hepburn, as Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

… she also knew when to sit down and enjoy tea, or coffee, with the finest china and silverware.

Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Breakfast at Tiffany's
Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

For all the beautiful things I saw last night, there were many I would not have ordered. They looked like this…

With Signature 1 With Signature 2

The reason?

Audrey Hepburn may have thought Paris was always a good idea, but as Sabrina, in the iconic Billy Wilder movie, she never actually said it. You don’t believe me? Watch the movie again and pay close attention.

If you want to hear the actual line, you have to watch the 1995 Sidney Pollack remake of Sabrina, with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford. If the movie failed to enthrall audiences as much as its predecessor, it is thoroughly enjoyable. Beautiful Julia Ormond puts a modern spin on Sabrina Fairchild. She, too, brings elegance, and charm to the part. She is the one who declares, at the end of the movie, “Paris is always a good idea.

SabrinaJuliaOrmaond

Julia Ormond, Gregg Kinnear, Harrison Ford, Sabrina (1995)
Julia Ormond, Gregg Kinnear, Harrison Ford, Sabrina (1995)

Listen to her rhapsodize about her time in Paris, like another Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn,) before her.

Audrey, Julia… They are both Sabrina. And they would both agree, as I do, Paris is always a good idea. What about you?

A bientôt.

Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford, Sabrina (1995)
Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford, Sabrina (1995)

Sabrina (1995) – Trailer is here.

34 Responses to Paris is always a good idea

  1. Oh, Veronique, we disagree for the very first time! Julia is not Sabrina and the remake was sacrilegious. 😉

    But what a brilliant post! Reiterating 6 little words that have had significance for billions.

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes! Paris is ALWAYS a good idea! As is the greatly beloved angel, Audrey.

    You’re so brilliant!!

    • Merci Suzanne. I see you are an Audrey fan. Who wouldn’t be? I would not quite call the remake sacrilegious. It was a pleasant romantic comedy if nothing else, and without it, as I explained in the post, none of us would be commenting about the infamous line! 😉

    • Bonjour Betty. Yes, it is a small world. I purchased most of my Christmas presents on etsy.com this year. I love that everything is quality (and handmade) in the US, and it’s always a good idea to support small businesses, in my humble opinion.

  2. Bien sur, Paris is always a good idea! It is just in a class all its own. Thank you for the trailers of the movie, I will plan to see Sabrina.

  3. I love that pillow!!! Yup! Paris is always a good idea..and if you can’t get there right away, you can always listen to some good Jacques Dutronc! Gotta say though, the original Sabrina was much, much better than the remake. That being said,tomorrow I’ll be able to wake up and say “Four more month’s till Paris”!
    Great, great post! I love all the pics! Thank you:)

    • Of course the original was better than the remake. Isn’t that usually the case? I’ve got to say that it’s really interesting to watch both versions back to back, and realize how society’s expectations of women have changed. Both “Sabrinas” are changed by their time in Paris, but their definition of personal accomplishments are widely different. I got a kick out of that. And yes, Jacques Dutronc is always a good idea, too (I see your Frenchman has taught you well :-))

  4. I love both versions of Sabrina and this reminder of them is a treat indeed. Audrey Hepburn IS Paris to me. Elegant, poised, charismatic, and beautiful. Merci.

  5. Hello Veronique – what a lovely post. You always work so hard on each of your posts and the effort surely shows! I discovered ETSY in 2014 and I too love the individual products you can find there. I found the most beautiful customized birthday and Christmas cards from a local UK seller who is very talented. You have motivated me to try my hand at blogger again.
    All the best. Craig

  6. Just watched the original Sabrina last night – LOVE Audrey – thank you for the recommendation. I’ll watch the 1995 version this weekend. Just disappointed there wasn’t more time in Paris in the movie – but still thoroughly enjoyed it!

  7. I’ve just watched the remake and then Googled the phrase.

    I don’t quite understand. If it was never in the original movie then all this material (pillows, pendants, notepaper and a hundred other things) and the widespread familiarity of the phrase, is only since the ’95 movie? There is so much false attribution of this quote to “Audrey Hepburn” (meaning playing Sabrina Fairchild) it seems incongruous. Anyway I also came across an online note by publisher/travel writer BARRIE KERPER on WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 2014 who says that she watched the 1954 movie twice thru in a single sitting and that the famous maxim is definitely not spoken.
    If it was a deliberate attempt by the screenwriters of the ’95 remake to create a memorable line like Casablanca’s “We’ll always have Paris” then it certainly seems to have worked (and fooled half the world that Hepburn said it!).
    I wonder if it might have been in the original Broadway stage show Sabrina Fair written by Samuel Taylor? (And I only this instant “got” the wordplay on Sabrina Fair-child!)

    The remake is very watchable, and Julia Ormond would have received great praise if only she wasn’t competing with Audrey or everyone’s perceived memory. There is one way in which the remake is unarguably superior: it contains plenty of actual shots (in colour) in Paris while the original (black & white) used feeble mock-up sets in Hollywood! The final scene is of Sabrina and Linus embracing and kissing on the Pont des Arts (not a hint of any lovelocks). This famous pedestrian bridge had its central section damaged by a river barge (peniche) and was reconstructed and reopened the year I first lived in Paris, 1984. It is UNESCO listed and I think there must be a law that states it must feature in any movie set in Paris!

    I also note that the love interest (Louis) in Paris was played by Patrick Bruel who could be a doppleganger of Patrick Demsey! In his prime Bruel was dreamier than Dr Dreamy himself. Bruel was a singer-turned-actor and when I lived in Paris there were women (French & Anglo) who swooned over him. On this delicate matter one also has to be realistic and comment that, without denigrating any of the actors, the modern version with Harrison Ford as the older Larrabee was more convincing than Bogart, and really I think Greg Kinnear might be better than William Holden (of whom I have always been ambivalent). It is also claimed that Audrey and Humph disliked each other during the shoot; Cary Grant was offered but declined the role and one would have to say that made better sense (especially when you see them together in Charade).

    I am a great fan of Billy Wilder but there was a fair touch of hokiness to the 1954 version–it was the prime era for knockabout comedies, without Audrey it would have stunk–whereas Sydney Pollack’s version is rather more sophisticated. It may simply represent the 4 decades of progress but the remake is certainly much more carefully put together and the cinematography is a quantum leap. If “Paris is always a good idea” then at least it delivers with those scenes around the Stravinsky fountain, the Ecouté sculpture (both close to Les Halles), the Solei de la Butte in Montmartre and the aforementioned Ponts des Arts. In fact as a urbanist with a special obsession with Paris I love Sabrina’s comment:

    “Along the Seine there is a walk along the river that goes from Ile St Germain to the Pont d’Austerlitz. Takes you past all the bridges of Paris. Twenty-three of them. And you find one that you love and you go there every day with your coffee and your journal. And you listen to the river.”

    The supporting cast of the remake is quite fabulous too: Angie Dickinson, Richard Crenna, Lauren Holly, John Wood (Mr Fairchild) and even a Paul Giamatti cameo; not to mention Fanny Ardant (Paris Vogue editor, Sabrina’s mentor) and probably other French talent I am neglecting.

    At any rate I am a great supporter of remaking every movie ever set in Paris.

    • Great comment! I agree with most of it. Funny you mentioned women swooning over Patrick Bruel. I have always been a fan and was thrilled to see he had a very successful, sold-out tour this year and remains a favorite in France 🙂

  8. In 1978 a lovely French girl named Nathalie came to live with us as an exchange student. Her family lived in Vincennes but later moved to Saint Germaine-en-Laye. That is where we all visited her many times. Five times for me as her Mum. Her favorite bridge was Pont Neuf. I loved them all but thought the Napoleon bridge to be quite sumptuous! Last November when Paris was attacked, one of my daughters had just visited our friend five days before the attack. We were all concerned for Naty’s safety. When we called, she said it was very frightening and they stayed locked in their apartment. It was so good to see her when she visited us for Memorial day this year, 2016. She comes to see us whenever she is in New York on business. She always brings us all beautiful gifts. Besides Paris, I love Normandy. Not because of the cemetery with the 9,000 crosses of American soldiers who lost their lives, but because of the people of the area. They were wonderful to us when we last visited in 2007. They will always remember 6 Juin 1944. It is on all the awnings of the shops and cafes. 15 years ago my husband and I were headed for Paris on our way to Italy. We were set to leave on September 14th, 2001. Of course our plane never came and our trip had to be cancelled. Have been to Paris since then and Scotland, but never tried for Italy again. Feel like it was not meant to be. I was to travel to Rionero where both my parents were born. Nathalie is still waiting for us to come to Paris again this year, but I am afraid. I have survived many disasters in my 76 years and I think maybe I should be content with all the trips and memories I have!

    • Bonjour Lydia. Thank you for your wonderful testimony. What a wonderful friendship you enjoy with Nathalie – and France. Please do not be afraid. Statistically, your chances of encountering tragedy during your travels are limited. You are only 76 years young: I say go to Paris, and enjoy Nathalie and la Belle France once again. Bon voyage !

      • I concur. Not just that the statistical likelihood of being a victim of terrorism in Paris (probably a bigger risk taking the taxi to and from the airport at both ends). But also I feel it is a test of a true Francophile! I lived for ten years in Paris (you can guess where from my nom-de-blog!) and these events have struck at my heart. I somehow feel slightly ashamed not to be there to lend moral support. I lived there during the bombings in the early 90s; True, those were considerably smaller scale than recent incidents but still traumatic.
        Recently the author Marie Darrieussecq was on a tv current affairs program (she was in Australia for the Sydney Writers Festival, May 2016) and she explained how, after some 20 years continuous residency in Paris she was feeling a little weary and was actually thinking of seeking fresh fields. But when these incidents occurred she said it has made her feel even more Parisian, and has somehow reinvigorated her mindset. She stepped into the void left at Charlie Hebdo to be a contributor.
        Any Paris resident knows what she means about the weariness as I am sure it happens in cycles for any inhabitant of such a big city, and with those pushy assertive Parisians (almost as bad as New Yorkers or Tokyo-ites, or … ). She had enunciated exactly how I felt, even if it has been 20 years since my residency there. I find it ludicrous how some commentators are writing off Paris because of these incidents but it is the opposite as it will possibly change Paris for the better, or in any case add to the patina of history any serious city accumulates. And if it means, among the 45 million visitors, fewer of the scaredy-cat Americans with their TopTen lists, then no loss. I am quite sure Lydia is not one of those.

        These are from the national broadcaster (ABC) and are open-access in Australia but possibly are blocked in some foreign territories (because they are part of some international cable deals):

        http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/includes/lateline_20160502.htm
        http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2016/05/25/4469255.htm
        http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandarts/marie-d/7420338
        https://www.swf.org.au/program/swf2016/france-writers-talk-politics-241

        Incidentally, while I know it is not comparing apples-for-apples, this past week has seen a landmark record of 500 killings in Chicago so far this year (already surpassing all of 2015), including many children and other by-standers. This is more than twice the total number of terrorist deaths over the past 2 years in all of France. A single American city that is less than half the size of Paris.

        • Bienvenue, Aussie-on-Ile-St-Louis. What a comment! Thank you for stopping by, and for your input. Being a Charlie Hebdo fan, I particularly enjoyed your comments about Marie Darrieussecq and how recent terror attacks had “rejuvenated her mindset” (and yours, as I understand it.) I can tell you that the past 18 months have made me feel truly sorry I live so far away from Paris, where most of my family lives, and reinforced my intention to move back to Europe over the next few years if I can make it happen. Nothing against the US, where I have enjoyed a good life for the last 20 years, but at some point, you have to ask yourself what country – and lifestyle – make you the happiest. Incidentally, you may be interested in the two articles I wrote after the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks last year. You can look them up on the blog in the January 2015 archives. Merci, et à bientôt. FGIS.

          • Yes, I felt more “homesick” for Paris than I have ever felt for my actual “homeland”. Hemingway was quite correct (“If you have lived in Paris as a young man ….”). I too, intend to return to live once again in Paris but as a non-French and non-EU citizen I have some things to resolve. As it happens those incidents in the 90s had an effect on this issue because I was due to get permanent residency (automatic after ten years at that time) but the incidents brought a xenophobic kneejerk response from government (it was probably election time and the FN was making their usual trouble) and they suddenly made it more difficult to get residency. The French consulate staff were very apologetic and explained it was very unfortunate but they were under political instructions to find any excuse to reduce immigrant numbers. I was in the process of moving my whole lab to Oxford and that was enough. The Oxford move was a career thing and I did not intend to stay (and didn’t) but when I look back it influenced my decision not to return to Paris… such is how one’s life direction is nudged along a different path.
            Though you are diplomatic about your adopted home of the US, I feel the Anglosphere (I have lived/worked in UK, USA and Australia) has taken a horribly wrong turn over the past 20 years and still feel, despite its perceived problems that France actually has its priorities better than most countries.

            I will check out those Charlie Hebdo blogs. I just read the markets/Lyon article: fabulous. Lyon is a terrific city (and so much more affordable than Paris; if only I wasn’t so smitten with the latter! And really I am not sure I can live again in 18sqm even if on Ile St Louis!)

  9. I love the remake, especially the first 30 minutes as I am a huge Patrick Bruel fan (movies, music and on stage). When it came out I also liked Harrison Ford (not so much theses days). Often, if it is on Sky I will just watch till she leaves Paris!

    • I enjoyed the remake as well. I always felt sorry poor Audrey Hepburn was always paired off with much older men on the silver screen, even if they were talented actors (Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant.) I found the Julia Ormond/Harrison Ford couple more believable in the remake of “Sabrina.” — Not to mention the great peek at a young Patrick Bruel, of course.

  10. I love this post. I love anything (not quite) that can show my love for this amazing city. I felt as many do that Paris is home. I wonder if in a past life it was my home.

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The many pleasures of Paris’ SoPi

The many pleasures of Paris’ SoPi

Spotted on a Paris travel board: “[Pigalle:] Dodgy looking people, gangs bothering tourists and locals in full view of the police, a pedestrian road lined with the most sketchy looking bunch of people. I had to walk it on my own to buy some macaroons to take home with me from the best macaroons in Paris, but I…

21 Responses to The many pleasures of Paris’ SoPi

  1. I love this area! We were once looking for a café near Metro St. Georges, but we didn’t find it because we walked the wrong way. We ended up at the Moulin Rouge, and we found the area delightful! Another time, we visited the Musée de la Vie Romantique just to sit in the garden. Lovely!

    Sandy

  2. This whole area looks positively chic now! I haven’t been around there in ages. I was in a hotel in that neighborhood (Blvd de Clichy, I think) with my college group way back in the early 80s and remember it as feeling pretty sleazy at the time. Not in the ridiculous “no-go zone” sense that was tossed out by Fox News, of course! But there were plenty of sex shops and so forth, and we all got the general feeling of walking on the wild side by even being there. I imagine it has changed immensely.

    • Bonjour Betty. A lot of what you saw in the 80s is still there, at least around boulevard de Clichy or la place Pigalle. But even there, as I mentioned, things are changing fast. The most pleasant – and trendiest – part of Pigalle is the one I cover here, south of boulevard de Clichy. I hope you can return soon.

  3. You’ve definitely a no go zone on your hands here! The combination of sweets and breads is enough to transform any ‘hip’ in this hipster! 😉

  4. The “macaroon” thing nearly killed me! Obviously this was the first visit to Paris that the reviewer wrote. I don’t get it. If people research their trips before visiting, they are aware that Pigalle, with the touristy “Moulin Rouge”, isn’t exactly l’avenue Foch. Although I don’t frequent the Pigalle area, I’ve driven by many times and find the area quite colorful. Besides, my Frenchman’s family had a huge apartment in the area. His grandfather’s studio had this amazing rounded window for a fantastic view of the neighborhood. I gotta go. I’m going to make a “banquette” to accompany those tasty “macaroons”!

    • Bonjour Cathe. I hope you are making a “BLANquette,” not a “banquette,” to accompany the macarons! 😉 Yes, it makes you wonder what people expect when they visit a big city’s Red Light district. And yes, preparation and research do pay off when traveling. Pigalle is changing fast, like many other neighborhoods in the northern sections of Paris. Good or bad thing? Only time will tell. Bonne semaine !

  5. What a lovely stroll. Good thing you got there before the Caliphate was created and they kicked out all those hipsters, bakers and poor innocent children. 😀 Seriously, even the most run-down parts of Paris have more charm and interesting architecture than many chain-store laden blocks in US cities.

  6. Hi Veronique. I am so glad you wrote about this today. I have been to Paris several times and have explored this area too, but not the same route as you (I will have to try this one). My friends and family ask frequently if I am afraid to go back and my answer remains the same…no. Just as I was beginning to waver I read you article….I may keep my plans and go this fall.

    • No wavering, Jeanne. Paris, even when under the threat of terrorist attacks, is still safer than many American cities. I am convinced of it! You should absolutely return this fall. With a bit of luck, I will be able to return before summer.

  7. What a delightful and fun post, an armchair trip to Paris! The pix are excellent, what a beautiful day when you were there. I’m ready to go!

  8. Veronique – love your opening line: “just to get their hands on the pretty round cookies with a name they can’t either pronounce or spell.”

    I can somehow understand why Amerlockes cannot pronounce macarons, but why oh why can’t we properly pronounce MOULIN?

    Seriously, all the actors of the film Moulin Rouge pronounced it as mouLON. Like jarDON? RoDON? GraTON? Aaargh!

  9. I haven’t wandered around Pigalle for a few years but I always found it to be a colourful, lively place but never threatening in any way. I had already decided that we should explore this area again before reading this post. One of the reasons was in fact a visit to Sébastien Gaudard as I have read so much about his wonderful creations (and you already know about my sweet tooth!) I’m sure I would enjoy that delightful tea room too and of course the museum itself!

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Merci, Charlie Hebdo

Merci, Charlie Hebdo

However hard I tried, when I sat down in front my keyboard this week, I just could not write about the Eiffel Tower, macarons, or the latest hipster coffee shop in Paris. Many lives (including mine) have been changed forever over the last ten days. Surely, everything has been said about the terrorist attacks in France. Is one…

17 Responses to Merci, Charlie Hebdo

  1. They are now printing another 2 million copies bringing the total to 7 million copies and still it’s not available everywhere. They will continue printing so long as there is the demand apparently.

    • That’s wonderful news Jilly. I downloaded Wednesday’s issue on a special App sold on iTunes. I have read half of the issue already and tried to remain objective. My conclusion: It is quite good. I like that they included cartoons from their slain friends. Sadly, they are all still relevant. I was also impressed by the columns. Well written, well argumented, and at times, quite moving. I wish everyone who pontificates about Charlie Hebdo would give it a try, but many probably won’t. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Nice, very nice Veronique! Maybe you have to be French, or (as I) have lived for quite some time in France, to know something about French history… to really understand. The last couple of days, I have really appreciated to see how this has been followed up internationally, but I have also seen the different appreciations that are expressed, reflecting sometimes different views on freedom, censorship… (of course Fox News, to me, wins the prize of stupidity). Your “job”, living in the States, to defend and explain the French attitude is wonderful!

    • That’s me, Peter, the self-appointed defender of French Republican values, writing from my corner of American suburbia 🙂 Thank you for your excellent post this week. I saw in the Comment section it did not leave anyone indifferent. That is what happens when you try and discuss religion – or secularism. Good for you. I am experiencing media overload and am going to stop reading any article about Charlie Hebdo for at least a week. I said what I had to say, and so did you. Looking forward to meeting you in person, at long last, next time I visit Paris.

  3. Veronique–your words were both moving and touching. In our home, Vincent, is both devastated over the events, but, like you, he is incredibly proud of his home country’s men and women. He is upset, though, with some of our news media for incorrect information regarding some issues, but overall, the coverage has been fine. The French are strong and resilient and proud and will not allow this terrorist incident to make them back down. Thanks for the article!

  4. Excellent and well written post. You capture everything so well regarding this tragedy. Such a waste and so incredibly sad…

  5. I really enjoyed reading your post. It explains the French point of view very well and that is needed here. The pictures and video were well chosen. It was a great post – and we are all very sad.

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Trader Joe’s 10 best French finds

Trader Joe’s 10 best French finds

You recognize the logo. You know the stores. Trader Joe’s: The brand that has redefined grocery shopping, and turned it into an fun experience, full or discovery and surprises. Trader Joe’s, the *cool* brand, and its cult-like following. I am lucky: I have two Trader Joe’s stores less than 15 minutes away from my place. There is…

45 Responses to Trader Joe’s 10 best French finds

  1. Great post! I do most of my grocery shopping at TJ’s and like you always keep a bag of French Green Beans in my freezer. But there are a few things I haven’t seen yet (Fleur de Sel is one of them). I’m going to check out the Queen of Croissants, too. Looks delicious.

  2. I was just at Trader Joe’s today, but now I cannot wait to go again, and select so many of your suggestions! I’ve never tried those desserts but I will now!

  3. 2 more things:
    – La moutarde de dijon de marque t-joe. Tres bonnes
    – Les petits cornichons! Parfait avec le saucisson…

    et d’ailleurs à ce sujet, le salami Secchi en pack de 2 à T-joe est un des plus proches de ce que l’on trouve ne france (baton de berger :-)).

    • Merci de votre visite Olivier. Je connais bien le salami, que j’utilise l’été pour les pique-nique (avec mon couteau Opinel, bien sûr! 🙂 Et les petits cornichons sont indispensables à une bonne raclette! Merci de vos suggestions. Et merci Trader Joe’s!

    • Trader Joe’s cornichons are way too sour. The ones by Maille are much better and more like what I can buy in France. Plus they have the little green plastic insert that helps you pull the cornichons out of the liquid for easier grasping.

  4. I shared this with my daughter, who just moved to a new apartment in NYC and is happy to have a Trader Joe’s nearby! Hopefully she will be able to find some “good French food.”

  5. My French teacher said Fleur de Sel was expensive, even in France. I’ve always wanted to try some. Guess I’ll be going to TJ’s today.

    • Your French teacher is correct. Fleur de Sel is expensive because it is harvested by hand, a time consuming process. The flavor is also more concentrated than regular salt, so you have to use just a pinch! This is a really good price for it, though, and the tin container is so pretty!

  6. I so wish we had a Trader Joe’s in Central Illinois! The closest is about 3 hours away 🙁 I believe they also have the orange drink that is so popular in France — can’t think of the name. My youngest granddaughter asked for it every time we stopped to eat!

    • Bonjour Sandy. You are referring to Orangina. I once wrote a story about this popular French drink. You can find it on the blog 🙂 I have not seen it at Trader Joe’s for a while. It may be a summer product for them. Sorry you live so far away from a Trader Joe’s. Keep your fingers crossed. They open new stores all the time, and you can check out future locations on their website. Bonne année !

  7. Salut & Bonne Annee! Tarte d’Alsace is always in the freezer for a quick Friday dinner with salad, a glass or two of wine and Bill Maher on the television. The potatoes, green beans and cheeses are seen on my list often. Will have to try the croissants, raspberry tarte and the brioche toasts as well. As to the wine, I will try them all! Merci!

    • Bonjour Holly. I have not tried all the wines at Trader Joe’s, but they have a decent Bordeaux selection if you like them. I picked up a bottle of Sancerre yesterday. I used to enjoy it when I lived in France. Glad you already know and use their French products. Bon appétit !

  8. v- I was so happy to see an expanded piece on your most wonderful finds at Trader Joes-My sister saw the FB post and showed me-we happened to be spending the day in Princeton-well the seed had been planted and I was like a mad woman-“had to get to the closest store”-there was one close to Princeton but I chose to proceed to the one closest to the house, which is not close! You would think living in a city like Philly there would be some scattered in the various zip codes-but NON! So I set out in search of the products picture on FB – well the store was pretty empty which made the experience more enjoyable-I scored the macarons-which I agree are good but not my favorite-haven’t tried the pear tarte although there is one in the freezer-I purchased the eggplant parm, frozen leeks and various cookies, which they have all the time, oh…. and a new coffee I had not tried– BAY- in a blue canister- dark roast and it could definitely give any of the dark roasts at Starbucks a run their money-I usually drive to New Jersey to do a Trader Joes run-the store is ALWAYS super crowded and the diagonal aisle lay out poses its own set of tactical nuisances or annoyances depending on my mood-in short going to Trader Joes is a conscious decision for me due to location and atmosphere in the store…but a store I will not give up on-Oh how about the 99 cents cards and the flower selection good quality and reasonable prices-and the health and beauty section-VERY SMALL and VERY LIMITED but GREAT QUALITY and fair market prices-many come from France . Oh and the nuts are fair, if not better priced than most supermarches in this area; although I have taken to going to the ethnic stores for a wide variety of raw nuts-ALL IN ALL I ADORE A GOOD TRADER JOES RUN-sadly it is not as frequent as I would like. This comment is super long but do you know the store ALDI-Trader Joe’s cousin-a rift between two German brothers gave birth to the 2 stores like addidas and puma…HAPPY NEW YEAR DEAR FRIEND-another great read AS ALWAYS!!

    • Loved your comment, g. Thank you! It shoes how determined some Trader Joe’s shoppers can be. 🙂 I agree with your reviews of the other products. I did not mention them here as I was focusing on French ones, but I do enjoy their nut selection (a lot more affordable than the supermarket versions,) their fresh flowers, and most of their dry or canned grocery items. I am not too fond of their produce, fish or meat, usually, but I can get those somewhere else. Since you mentioned the Health and Beauty department, they have an excellent French soap there. I picked up a bottle yesterday for my bathroom. Orange flower. It smells heavenly, and again, so much cheaper than anything you would buy in another store. Thank you for your visit, dear g. I wish you a Happy New Year, too!

  9. Wow, you are so lucky to have two TJ close by. Finally, we are getting them in Florida. In the future I will have to look closely in the frozen food section for these products….love TJ!

  10. Merci beaucoup for all the wonderful French finds at Trader Joes. I must make a trip there again soon.

    Happy new year! Cherie

  11. Three years in France and I didn’t know it is customary for a hostess to purchase dessert… I could have saved myself a lot of trouble! We finally got a TJs in our town four years ago… a month before we moved to France!

    • Bonjour Liene. I am sure your guests appreciated the trouble you went through! 🙂 Many French women still serve home-baked desserts, especially when entertaining in the afternoon, for the “goûter” ritual. But nobody frowns on those who don’t, and why should they? Most pâtisseries offer stellar desserts! Happy New Year to you and yours on the East Coast.

  12. Bravo ma fille,pour ^ta publicité des produits français de trader joes:Il devrait te faire une bonne réduction pour cette publicité gratuite et en plus tu en fais profiter les fabricants français:génial!!!!(tu pourrais demander une commission pour cela!bises mom

    • Bravo à la maman! Elle a raison!!
      Mais je suis sur votre site par accident. Je me fais régulièrement une petite tarte d’Alsace mais l’autre jour je me disais que je les trouvais moins bonnes qu’avant et ce soir, a mon 33e éage à New York, même impression. Alors, j’ai regardé la boîte et je ne vois plus le “Made in France” ou “Imported from France”….Est-ce que TJ nous aurait trahis???? Ou est-ce que j’ai rêvé? Ou confondu avec d’autres produits?

  13. I don’t miss much about about living in the United States to be honest Veronique, but goodness knows I do miss Trader Joes. We absolutely loved it and shopped there a lot! One little tip (not France related)… hunt out Argentine Red Prawns in the freezer section.
    They come in approximately a 1 pound bag. They aren’t available all the time as they are seasonal so when they are in stock, get a dozen bags for the freezer. These prawns are red in colour before cooking and their taste is somewhere between prawn and lobster – amazing! Oddly enough, we also found these for sale in France (at Auchan) – not with TJ’s packaging of course but from a Spanish supplier. Sadly, we can’t get them in the UK. I think I need to make a shopping trip to France – it’s a bit easier for me that Trader Joes!

  14. 🙁 I finally got around to making a trip to TJ’s, but I was too late to buy the Fleur de Sel you mentioned. At least at the TJ’s in Ballard, they have not carried it for a while. Oh well, I’ll just have to go to Camargue and some 🙂

  15. Ironically enough I am in France at the moment, Nîmes specifically. Have you any recommendations for stores anywhere in France that are similar to TJs or my other fave, Grocery Outlet. Thank you!

    • Thank you for your message. I do not know stores like Trader Joe’s in France. I know the Monoprix chain (usually in city centers,) appeals to a wide audience. Locally, you will also find more specialized grocery stores. Paris, for example, has stores carrying Asian, African, even American products. Enjoy your stay in Nîmes!

  16. I love the pear tart too. It’s amazingly good. However, I was so sad to hear at my local trader joes that it is now discontinued across all stores. I wish I had filled my freezer with them.

  17. I cannot understand why TJ has stopped carrying Trader Joe’s Pear Tartes in Prescott, Arizona. I believe I am having withdrawal symptoms. Yes, I admit I am addicted to them. An employee told me they were discontinued because they had poor sales. I find that hard to believe. I would buy them by the case if they would keep in my freezer. Its’a sad, sad, sad day in Prescott!

    • Same at my local Trader Joe’s Ralph, but they still carry the raspberry tart. I have heard similar stories from readers around the country. There must have been a problem with the pear version, though they won’t publicize it. C’est la vie!

  18. Love your list! We are headed to France. Is there anything like Trader Joe’s in France. And do you happen to know some reasonable priced good wines we should try in France?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Bonjour Susan. Merci de votre visite. There are plenty of grocery stores in France, though Trader Joe’s is pretty unique. As for wine, sample “un pichet” of local wine at the local restaurant. You will be amazed at how much more affordable wine is in France. Bon voyage!

  19. Hello. In our store there is now salted butter from brittany and freezed mini croissans and chocolate croissant

  20. Does anyone know if Trader Joes has continued to sell Calvados for Christmas season 2016. I’m looking for case quantity if available.

  21. La tarte d’Alsace est faite par une compagnie qui vend des flammenkueches extremement similaire dans l’est de la France 🙂

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