French Food and Wine

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Brits bearing gifts

I would welcome suggestions on English food that goes down well with French people.

A generous French friend owns the local shop and bar and is forever treating me to local delicacies. He has never ventured outside France so it is difficult to establish foreign stuff that he likes. But if I buy in France, he already has a shop filled with food and wine so it's "coals to Newcastle". He drinks only one brand of whisky which he seems to have "on tap".

So I wondered if any forum members have experience of British produce which is generally appreciated by French people when they visit the UK.
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Re: Brits bearing gifts

This may sound weird, I confess, it even seemed weird to me..but we have become traffickers of Waitrose pink grapefruit squash. It seems to be very popular because squash doesn't exist outside the UK..and its a source of amusement because the average French person thinks, if you offer it, that you've just asked them mid-morning if they would like a "scotch".
Given the current craze in the UK for it, artisan gin could be an option. Again, we converted a few neighbours to G&T. There's a certain scepticism around Pimm's although people will drink it politely.
Some of my French friends have spent enough time in the UK to have acquired a taste for such delicacies as Piccallilli and Branston Pickle, but I doubt they're for everyone.
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: Brits bearing gifts

Taking the cue from 'coals to Newcastle' I find that French friends are agreeably surprised by a real farm Cheddar or Stilton, but they need to be quality ones..
For those with a sweet tooth Carrot cake and lemon cheesecake go down well, but of course they are best home-made..


The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
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Re: Brits bearing gifts

We used to have a sale in the village Hall where everyone brought their home made things - not just food, artistic diy stuff too.
My home-made bread - different types- used to sell well, but I think it was partly curiosity.
But my spice loaf was nothing like their pain d'epice.

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Re: Brits bearing gifts

I might take some piccalilli just to see the reaction :) I had thought about some cheddar, not least because we have recently discovered, at Aldi of all places, an Irish extra mature cheddar that, to our taste, is as good as any we have bought from the specialist cheese shop in Cheltenham.
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Re: Brits bearing gifts

You have given me an idea Pat. Mrs Zoff has been known to make a mean tea bread (bara brith)
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Re: Brits bearing gifts

Our elderly neighbour adores shortbread.

Her favourites are some of the many tins/packets from M&S, particularly the Christmas tree tin that turns around and the red bus/ phonebox tin (can’t remember which it is at this time of night, but it’s red!), and small packets with scottie dog-shaped bscuits.

As you can tell, the tins are at least as big a draw as the biscuits, but she loves the biscuits themselves.

Other French friends, who have various varieties of scotch for aperos, have loved Caol Ila - my personal favourite.


Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.


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Re: Brits bearing gifts

I could always buy piccalilli in France and knew french people who bought it.

I have given all sorts of 'english' stuff over the years, shortbread, chocolate bars of various sorts and a real favourite was Thornton's original toffee, everyone liked it.
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