For a Frenchie living stateside, there’s no place like home when it comes to food. But Trader Joe’s comes pretty darn close! Here are twenty-one French products that we stock up on our weekly grocery trips.
1. Pain Rustique: The perfect everyday bread. When the French family comes to town, we go through a loaf in less than two days.
2. Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter: Creamy, salty, and so wonderfully buttery. It’s also $1-2 cheaper at Trader Joe’s than other grocery stores.
3. Haricots Vert: Small, skinny, tender green beans. When steamed, they make an easy (and healthy!) side dish.
4. Crème Fraîche: France’s lighter and more delicate answer to sour cream. A dollop goes a long way in soups and sauces.
5. Potatoes: Steamed, fried, baked, or mashed, the potato is a staple in the French kitchen and an easy side dish in any meal.
6. Dijon Mustard and Whole Grain Mustard: Just like Americans love our ketchup, the French love their mustard. The Dijon packs a punch while the whole grain is a bit mellower.
7. Cheese: Hard rind, ooey gooey, mild, and stinky…the selection of cheese at Trader Joe’s is solid and affordable. You can check out a list of the five best cheeses here.
8. Truffle Mousse Pate: “Tastes like meat butter,” said our cheating vegetarian friend. She’s right, it’s buttery, creamy, and meaty. Sounds gross but it’s glorious, I promise.
9. Salame Secchi: Though actually Italian, this salami is a close cousin to a French saucisson sec and it’s always the first thing to go on the appetizer plate when we entertain.
10. Cornichons: Sour and crunchy pickles in a miniature size. They go well with charcuterie or pâté and a nice glass of red wine, bien sûr.
11. Belgian Endives: Part of the chicory family, this veggie has a bitter-yet-sweet flavor. Healthy folks will chop, dress lightly, and serve as a salad. Unhealthy? Google endive and ham gratin.
13. Handsome Cut Potato Fries: Trying hard to avoid any references to Freedom Fries, but whoops, it just happened. These frites go particularly well with steak or a big pot of mussels cooked in white wine.
14. Red Wine Vinegar: In a country full of wine, apparently life sometimes gives you vinegar. This vinegar is a great as a vinaigrette base or as way to add umami to braised meats or stews.
15. Shallots: The refined and sophisticated cousin to the trusty onion. Many French recipes opt for the delicate taste of the shallot rather than the intensity of a yellow or red onion.
16. Fresh Herbs: French cuisine may be based in butter, cream, and carbs, but fresh herbs are its culinary exclamation point. Thyme is especially popular in French recipes.
17. European Style Plain Whole Milk Yogurt: A daily staple for most French folks. It’s typically eaten at breakfast, as a snack at goûter, or at the end of the meal as a substitute for dessert.
18. Dark Chocolate: Though the French have included chocolate in famous desserts like chocolate mousse and chocolate éclairs, many prefer to savor dark chocolate one square at a time.
19. Raspberry Tarte: Simple, straightforward, and delicious. Keep this one or the pear tarte in the freezer for an easy dessert at your next dinner party.
20. Dark Coffee: A strong, rich coffee that’s perfect for your café au lait. At only $4.99, it’s a great value for the high quality.
21. Macarons à la Parisienne: Made of meringue, almond flour, and magic, macarons are as tasty as they are photogenic. These satisfy a craving or make a sweet finale to a heavy meal.