Do you miss foods from around the world - where do you get them?

Do you miss foods from your home country?

Maybe you’re French and you crave foods not readily available to you in France?

I have to admit I used to but I’ve since become a better cook and most ingredients are available here these days. We are in Europe after all :wink:

Anyone visiting us from Oop t'North has to smuggle over a shipment of Holland's Meat Pies - YUM !!

I have to admit that it's largely a nostalgia thing; hanging about outside the chippy with me mates and the local birds. Ah happy days.

There used to be a gay Scottish couple who had a caff in mid Bretagne who used to import them - only a mere 80 miles to get me fix, but they're gone now. Not enough demand from the locals I guess.

There's even a song to them. How many pies can claim that? ?? Ebony Eyes ?? :-)

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I get my sausages, bacon, cheese etc. from The Field Emporium, Tillou who take orders up to 11th of the month and then they have my order ready for collection a couple of weeks later. They get them from Bacon By the Box who deliver to distributors. Bacon by The Box supply, steak Pies, Pork Pies, Pasties, thick double Cream, Cottage Cheese, 4 types of sausages, black pudding, Gammon joints, steak, Strong Cheddar, Bacon (smoked and unsmoked) and mushy peas. Like others I do enjoy French food but the odd British product is nice now and again. Their traditional sausages are really good.

There is a local butcher to us in Eauze, the Armagnac town, which does the most superb sausages. They have everyone in our social group drooling for the next annual BBQ. Intermarche sell English muffins, so add some frech bacon cut more thickly from the deli counter and hey presto a superb all day breakfast. Would day eat it at breakfast time, to fattening.

My pet hate, the smell of chips and fast food in all the high streets I have visited in the UK recently.

I keep packs of UHT milk to use in such things as cheese sauce, but we prefer the taste of fresh, which we have to buy from the supermarket as we are too far out for our local shop to stock fresh milk.

We take our own bottles to the nearby farm who supplies all fresh milk to local supermarkets and shops, effectively we can buy it seven days a week about two minutes drive away (or 30 minute walk on a nice day) and it is cheaper than the long life stuff direct from supplier.

Locarno is a long way to go for cheese!

Because you live in a city Steve you have more choice of restaurants than in the countryside. Your local shops have all the shelf and 'fridge space that you need. We freeze fresh milk and butter, but at the moment we have vegetables straight from the garden and our own eggs. We have exchanged courgettes with our neighbour who, for some strange reason, has had a failure, for his carrot thinnings.
We and almost everyone round her has tomato blight, so a lack of tomato sauce for next year methinks.
Perhaps Steve you might like to ponder on why the government is having to bring a scheme for restaurants to display that they even have a chef and cook the meals from fresh ingredients?
Also for some reason the French have not cottoned on to seasonality as much as the Brits, except where you have to pay a lot for your meal.

I agree Brian, most of the food we eat over her is French, we love the food out here, it doesn’t stop us wanting some of the food we grew up with, hence the pies and sausages we make, no one was slagging off French food or bigging up British, in fact, when I have to go back to the UK, I am always glad to get back here to get some good fresh food again.

Bulldog Bangers mentioned previously have excellent pork products from hocks to joints - better than I used to bring back from the UK. My main gripe here is lack of variety in veg (so I grow my own) and the meat is never hung enough for our taste. Agree with a previous poster though that generally restaurant food (we are in the Aveyron) leaves a lot to be desired - canard or pave de veau gets tedious. We eat better at home !

Absolutely agree Brian. No one is 'slagging off' anything Steve.

I must say I am finding it so funny. If people move round the world then they take their food with them. Hence we find all the Asian and African food available in Europe at present. I find it ironic that French food having become internationally as beloved as it is has a worldwide basis in Auguste Escoffier's superb but actually rather limited repertoire. Quite a lot of French food is hardly worth any fuss and bother, show me another restaurant with a choice of confit de canard or confit de canard, perhaps a cassoulet and always foie gras and I shall scream. Here we are in the part of the world that makes the best wines in the world and the food is mostly mediocre by the standard of anywhere in the world. I am no lover of so-called British food in general but to 'excommunicate' what is good in that repertoire, or any other cuisine at that, is totally absurd. Apart from anything else, people everywhere have tastes. A local French couple regularly go out to buy takeaway fish and chips, even put ketchup on it. They can't understand that I do not do the same.

However, I thought I would have a look at which foods comes out as the most frequently eaten here in France. Try doing a search to find out and be prepared for a shock. There does not seem to be a great deal of 'French' food eaten any longer.

Gawd the Land of the Vampires! All gorging out on blood! That's what black pudding is in case you have forgotten? Chewing on dollops cooked blood does absolutely zero for me - but then again I have been out of England for a long time, but I have been to Transylvania and couldn't see any there so maybe even Dracula doesn't care for it?

It would seem we are quite spoilt in Castres. Marmite, Bisto, Oxo cubes, Heinz soup and beans, Dairy Milk, Cheddar cheese, Gingernuts, Salad Cream and lots I've forgotten all available from our local Super U, Auchan and Intermarche. There is an English shop in Lavaur - The Brit Stop - no website I don't think but here is a run down from La Depeche - Sausages, bacon, crumpets all available and they do special English Fish and Chip evenings etc. Would also highly recommend - we've been buying Paul and Jeff's sausages for years, they are regularly at one of the bars near Toulouse airport. Good quality real sausages, bacon, Christmas hams, gammon. The only other thing I really miss is a good Inidan but we have recently discovered, which is as good as it gets for an English Indian. Other than that we have enjoyed learning to cook Indian food. Elaine Hood - don't think you are that far from us, a nice afternoon couple of hours out and you could round up most of the things you have mentioned. For those that have mentioned corn on the cob and parsnips, sprouts there is - very very large selection of good quality veg they even sell Okra - haven't been able to find it anywhere else.

Jane, there is a shop in Locarno that sells a selection of cheeses from round the world and strangely they had some Stinking Bishop, a couple of Cheddars and a handmade Cornish Yarg but NO Stilton last week, which is what I went looking for. Mind you, the price!

The Geordieland black puddings are quite hard, at least firm, so slice nicely rather than flow out which makes cooking black pud, bacon and apple far easier. With my present return to weight reduction regime I had better stop licking my lips...

I don’t understand all of the items, meat pies and pasties, make them, and for a fairly small outlay, the sausages as well. We bought a sausage stuffer about 5 years ago and haven’t looked back, we only use best quality pork belly and shoulder for the meat, you can also add beef and/or turkey if you wish, you will also need either breadcrumbs or yeast less rusk and herbs and spices. We make about 200 at a time, they freeze easily, the stuffers are available on line, ebay always has a number of different models, I would recommend a good quality stainless steel model over the plastic ones, or go to www. they supply all the things you need, skins, rusk, herb packs and all equipment. The sausages aren’t cheap to make but, for the same money you would pay for an average sausage in the supermarket you get top quality and you know what is in them.

Bury black puddings, yum!

I have also had excellent ones in Carnforth and Chorley. Have you tried looking on line Catherine?
And for James, Single Gloucester cheese knocks spots off the Double variety. There are fewer Gloucester cows than pandas in the world, so try it soon. If you have someone visiting from UK Waitrose sell it. They sell Godsells made just outside Stroud and Charles Martell in Newent, of Stinking Bishop fame, makes one too.

Black pudding. Mmmmm. Delish.

But I've never had a really good British version as have only really eaten them in France as an adult. Does anyone want to post me one from the UK and we can carry on the debate but on black puddings rather than bangers?!

Crappy UK sausages yes Steve. Good quality ones - no. In contrast French sausages (whether good or bad quality) do have a taste and texture that is DIFFERENT to British ones. Not better or worse - just different. Just like people really...

Now can we PLEASE stop with the 'everything in France is superior' angle!!!!!

When I lived near Newmarket we used a butcher with his own bit in a small supermarket. When that closed he got a job at a local butcher in town. In the former he sold sausages bought direct from a pig farm where they made their own, in the latter they were clearly more mass produced. In both cases they bore the name 'Newmarket sausages' but for the life of me I could not actually tell the difference between those and 'Durham sausages', if they exist. Anyway, the piggery ones were good, the butcher shop ones ordinary. Neither was great in any sense.

In our time, my OH likes sausages, we tried Waitrose and also M&S bio/free range sausages, both highly praised and all the rest of it, but I found them on the bland side because they lacked decent seasoning. I am aware of the fact that many people in the UK do not like seasoning, but take a good look at sausage making recipes and it is hard to find them without. Anyway, whatever the recipe, the actual contents of sausages are never prime cuts, not meant to be, but offal and fat with some red meat and then, everywhere, bread, cereal or whatever is a normal part of them. Vegetarian sausages are nasty dry things without the animal fats. So forget them.

However, since I am neither a sausage lover nor hater, am married to somebody who likes them and have children who would rather live on them than most else, I have eaten them politely for some years. On the English (sausages in Scotland are vile blobs of extra fat and Welsh ones little better) versus French sausages score there is actually little between them other than the herbs and spices used to season them. There are the appalling though to good in both and the ones from local bio producers hereabouts that have far less gristle and fat in them that are fantastic as sausages go.

Having blathered all of that, I eat haggis with relish which is, after all said and done, a sausage. The seasoning in some is great. I also love black pudding! The best I have ever eaten and always tried to get are from Northumberland and there I have never found a French one to challenge those. At the other end of the colour scale, French white puddings knock spots off nearly all bar the mealie puddens in Fife. But then I am no sausage fanatic, so no gloves off to defend my corner.