from France, with love
February 25, 2010 2:17 PM   Subscribe

What can I put in a France-themed care package? The tricky part: I'm in the US.

I'm looking to put together an assortment of items with a touch of France for my significant other. I've found several items (preserves, cookies, maybe one of the mustards) on Au Marché's website, and plan on including a miniature Eiffel Tower and a couple of postcards if I can find them. I'd prefer things from France as opposed to, say, truffles made stateside, and I'd like to get what I can online when possible instead of to trying to hunt them down in specialty shops in my city. Food, doodads, souvenirs, you name it, it's all fair game.

Anonymous because my better half reads AskMe; I can be contacted at la.p.femme[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You should definitely include a beret.

The Amelie soundtrack would be nice, too.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:48 PM on February 25, 2010


FrenchyBee is another place to look, too: there's a bit of overlap, and not always bon marché, but worth a glance.
posted by holgate at 2:57 PM on February 25, 2010


A CD of French music, or French accordion music? I like 100 Classic French Songs (good dinner party music).

MACARONS! The only way you can get them from France, that I'm aware of, is the mass-produced frozen ones from Trader Joes, (unless you can convince Fauchon to ship them to you, but then you could get a ton of goodies). And I know you said nothing stateside, but it IS macarons, so, ganache filled ones from MadMac or Paulette would ship OK.
posted by IWoudDie4U at 3:00 PM on February 25, 2010


I know you would prefer online, but if you have a World Market near you it'd hardly be a hunt. They carry oodles of authentic french candies and foods that are imported from France. Personally, there's one right next to my local target. (They ship some things.)

Here are some things they carry that I recommend:
Authentic dijon mustard, cornichons, little pearl onions, maltesers/kinder candies hard to find in the US, patés, etc.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:17 PM on February 25, 2010


If you're feeling ambitious, you could try to make Macarons.

Some nice french wine would also seem to be indicated, but a fancy french liqueur like Bénédictine might be even more special.
posted by dizziest at 4:40 PM on February 25, 2010


Depending on where you are located, you could hop over the border and pick up some French goodies in Montreal? There are plenty of food stuffs here that are made in France, and specially imported.

Unfortunately, I don't know which of the shops would have an online store that you could buy from - but it might be a way to expand your google searches?
posted by unlaced at 6:01 PM on February 25, 2010


Fine cheese, wine if you can send it (maybe a small bottle?)
posted by The Whelk at 6:19 PM on February 25, 2010


A copy of Gigi.
posted by brujita at 11:15 PM on February 25, 2010


Jerry Lewis DVDs?
posted by motown missile at 11:31 PM on February 25, 2010


No one wears berets in France, except men aged 70 and older.

That aside - macarons, definitely, if you can find them. Costco often has French cheeses (Coulommiers and such), but any cheeses you get in the US will be pasteurized due to US regulations, whereas they're usually not in France. If your sig other likes stronger wines, then Côtes du Rhône are a good choice and are usually reasonably-priced; for smoother wines, there are Bordeaux, but those are sold at very high prices in the US.

Music that French people consider French would be Serge Gainsbourg, you can probably find him easily in the US; more contemporary is Jean-Jacques Goldman, who I was able to find when I lived in the US 12 years ago. Indochine is a group more along the lines of The Cure; they recently came out with an album that I totally love ("La République des Météors"). It might be in the US? No idea though. You could always try Amazon France, amazon.fr, for that (but you'll need to be able to understand French).

Can you find French flags anywhere? That could be fun.
posted by fraula at 12:34 AM on February 26, 2010


Nutella! Yes, it's now supermarket-available in the US, but when I first met both it and Orangina, they were incredibly French and exotic.
posted by aimedwander at 6:03 AM on February 26, 2010


If you buy Nutella, then look for the imported 200g version where you can repurpose the jar as a glass. The stuff in the plastic jars is not very nice.
posted by holgate at 7:25 AM on February 26, 2010


French music is a great idea and easily available from the usual sources. Here are some personal favorites:
Francis Cabrel
Barbara
Emilie Loizeau
Dalida
Benjamin Biolay
Amusez-vous bien!
posted by Paris Elk at 10:35 AM on February 26, 2010


The movies Jean de Fleurette and Manon of the Spring. Or a collection of Audrey Tautou movies, not just Amelie.
posted by CathyG at 12:23 PM on February 26, 2010


You cannot do Frenchier than foie gras, also I would put in French salt, French caramels and French mustard. On the entertainment side perhaps a Carla Bruni/aka Ms. Sarkozy CD or anything by Joe Dassin, Michel Sardou or Serge Gainsbourg for a more classic approach. Not sure how well cheese would travel and it does have the potential for stinking up your package so I would stay away from that. Maybe a classic french book (in French or English). You have your pick: Camus' Stanger for existential, Pauline Reage's The Story of O for kinky, or Flaubert's Madame Bovary for the ennui of life. If you put in movies bought in the US, they will probably not work on European DVD players. Beret, a red apron/scarf and a vertically striped t-shirt also sounds good and fun. By the way, you can probably buy anything you need on Amazon (including food, artwork, music, etc.) I love Amazon.
posted by kitchencrush at 2:11 AM on February 27, 2010


horizontally-striped t-shirt (obviously i am directionally challenged)
posted by kitchencrush at 2:50 AM on February 27, 2010


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