I have a family from Paris coming to my home for an exchange and it is customary to leave the family with some basic food staples (until they can get to the grocery store). Should I buy whole milk or reduced or fat free? What kind of bread (sliced sandwich bread or whole loaves). What type of beverages (soda, iced tea, etc...) Do the french eat cereal for breakfast??? My staples may be very different from theirs, so any input would be appreciated.
I think all the questions you have asked could only be answered by the family in question. Probably some French people eat breakfast cereal but who knows if these do. Who can say what kind of milk they prefer. Just send them an e-mail. You are very kind to be so concerned.
This is not an answer to your specific question, but it might be helpful to leave names, addresses, and directions to local food stores, as well as suggestions for local restaurants. Just a thought...
I have tons of information for the exchange family: supermarkets, restaurants, movie theatres, live theatre, outdoor concerts, local attractions, beaches, parks, etc.......If I don't get any input on food staples I'll just buy what staples I'd like to see when I get to their home.
Seems coffee, sugar, milk( I would get 2%,, not skim or whole,, middle of the road..LOL) orange juice , and some fruit and yogurt .. Bread is difficult as they won't want stale,, so how long will it sit after you leave it till they get it,, 2 or 3 days at least? Thats a tricky one I guess.
Maybe some sort of quick bread loaf,, you know, like a cranberry lemon loaf or banana bread,, if wrapped they actually taste better after a day or two.
Thanks Pat, The food will all be fresh when they arrive. While I'll already be in Europe (for a month) when they arrive, my family is local and they will take care of stocking the refrigerator for the exchange family. Since France is famous for coissants, I thought maybe they would like to try something we are good at - Brooklyn style bagels. I thought I'd have them delivered fresh the first morning they are here (along with vegetable cream cheese). Do they have good bagels in France?
Bagels are easily available in Paris, but I don't know about the rest of France as I never saw them. I have a friend who lives in Paris and buys them.
I hate them!
But I would have just plain cream cheese not veggie.
I sure would be careful on the bread...since American bread can be so inferior..!! If you have a good bakery that can provide some decent bread that could be purchased on the day of their arrival that might work.
Have some good jam...there is a nice French one you can get in the supermarkets that is not pricey.
As a staple, have something other than the typical yellow ballpark type Guldens's(etc.) mustard..you can get Dijon mustard in the market.
Maybe something for them to eat upon arrival...like some ham and cheese????
Can you contact them in advance?
Hi Maryann, Actually, my sister is going to prepare a great meal that will be waiting for them including a cheese platter with the husbands favorite cheeses, a salad, a pasta dish, dessert and wine. I'm not planning on buying them Wonder bread (ha ha); we have some great specialty markets in my area with fabulous loaf breads made fresh on site. It's this type of bread I would buy. Thanks for the suggestion of good jam and dijon mustard. I added them to my shopping list.
It sounds like you've got it pretty much covered. When we rented an apartment in Paris, they had 2% "shelf stable" milk, orange juice in the refrigerator, coffee, tea, sugar, and a bag of nuts waiting for us; but the list of places to buy other things during our visit was most helpful.
I think I would leave a selection of America's finest miracle foods. The aforementioned Wonder Bread, some Twinkies, Tang, Kool-Aid, Froot Loops, Hot Pockets, Mac N Cheese, fruit roll-ups, frozen breakfast sandwiches, and the like. Oh, how about some of that pre-cooked pot roast that you just have to microwave?
Karen, actually I was thinking about devil dogs or ring dings! How about some Fluff (for fluffer nutter sandwiches)??? There's also a diner nearby called "Le Peep", I'll send them there for authentic crepes!
Croissants (chocolate & plain) instead of bagels. Greek style yogurt. Like you said, an artisan, whole grain, no preservative whole bread (not sliced). I'm not sure if I'd get french bread unless it is truly french (hard, crusty on the outside). Cereal would be a granola type cereal. By the way, have fun on your trip!
And how could I have forgotten Velveeta??
Seriously, you should get them some things we have in America that they may like to try-peanut butter, apple butter, maple syrup, pecans. If the timing is right, have someone get them some sweet corn and show them how to cook it.
Staying with a broad selection of seasonal fruits, vegtables, and a few good cheeses (Brie, Gruyere, and a roquefort) with nice, whole loaf of bread (not sliced). Fresh squeezed juice(s); I would ignore the milk completely. A bottle or two of good quality wine and you will have made them feel welcome and nicely at home.
Michael,, what about that first morning coffee, and NO milk, many people DO love milk or cream in their coffee...
PS Kerry ,, take special care with the coffee, they tend to enjoy a darker roast richer coffee in France( the kind I dislike actually,, strong and yucky to me,LOL )
Kerry,, you and your family are going to so much trouble for your guests,, you guys sound super nice.. a meal prepared ,, how very nice.
I would also not use vegatable cream cheese( although I love it myself) but plain .
A commonly enjoyed French jam brand name is Bonne Maman,, I love it and can get it easily here, and the cookies by same brand name are good too,, especially the plain butter ones,, yummers.
Kerry, I think I would like to come to your house for my next vacation.
Kerry - Wouldn't you like to do a house swap in California instead? :7)
Hi, I've been off-line getting the house ready. We leave on Monday. Thank you all for your suggestions. I have finalized the list and all your items are on it (except the Velveeta cheese, although I did love it as a child, sad but true). I even got the brand of jam you recommended (Pat)before you even mentioned it - amazing.
I have one more question however; do they know what Smores are in France? I thought the kids might get a kick out of them.
When we lived in Germany (mid-70's), we camped in the Heidelburg area. The locals were fascinated by our marshmallows and corn-on-the-cob. Go for the s'mores. Have fun on your trip.