Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 5:47 pm Post subject: Has anyone seen... *insert list here* ?
I'm always searching for odd new things to try out, and of course, whenever I find a recipe, I also find myself lacking something..
so, has anyone (in Paris, or orderable to Paris on the net) seen:
Baking Soda/Baking Powder/Tartar
Frozen Strawberries (Those, I'm hoping I can simply find on a trip to Carrefour or Picard..)
Graham Crackers/Cream Cheese (or anything else cheesecake related that doesn't come in the form of a powder.. I've tried the boxed sets, but I'm not *incredibly* pleased with them..)
Cheddar (findable at Casino, but I'm not always able to get there, if anyone knows any alternative places more in the way, perhaps.)
Cake Frosting/Mixes/Toppings (you know the kind, Sara Lee Strawberries in a can or chocolate frosting in a can, ready to whip out and finish a cake in less than a minute..)
and really anything else that you'd find in an American kitchen that may perhaps be lacking in a French one. I've never really *needed* to use Crisco, but I'm sure I could find uses for that, as well (shortening.)
I see she has come up with a good substitute for graham crackers. Graham crackers really aren't anything special though. I think the concept of a graham cracker crust was simply that using dry, tasty crumbs enabled the cook to take a shortcut. Since that time, at least here, people use all kinds of simple cookie crumbs. An interesting variation I recently heard about and look forward to trying was Italian biscotti.
Pascale suggests a French alternative for cream cheese. Another possibility is to make some. I put plain yogurt in a paper coffee filter in a basket I reserve for this purpose. I suspend this all over an empty bowl in my fridge. After it seems to stop draining, I place a weight on the top and press out what additional liquid I can. When it's firm, it's cream cheese.
thx for all the links, you've definitely done your homework! I'll have to check out the suggestion of Pascale(?), "Nature à tartiner".. I've been looking around for different things that ressemble cream cheese, and have actually found that a lot of European countries have Philly cream cheese.. just not France. If I ever take a day trip, I'll have to bring back a backpack full Saint Moret is simply.. too salty(for cheesecake purposes, anyhow.). I'll have to try to make my own cream cheese, though.. that could really come in handy!
Some of the food items you're asking about may be ordered from www.expatshopping.com. They used to carry American goods, but now only British. Shipping these items is rather expensive, so you need to be pretty motivated.
My fellow Americans like to use crisco in pie crusts, although for the life of me I can't understand why, it's absolutely tasteless, and using all butter is so much better. Two good uses for crisco are 1) frying chicken - much less greasy 2) greasing cake pans - butter contains a lot of water which evaporates during cooking, leaving exposed places for the batter to stick.
Shortening has no water, and so doesn't have this problem. As most bakeware is no-stick these days, I'm not sure how important this is.
At Ikea Epicerie they sell Digestive Biscuits (I don't think they're the real brand, though. Those you can find at Lafayette Gourmet). They are very much like Graham Crackers and perfect for a cheesecake crust: they're quite dry and flavorful and they're not as spicy as Speculoos, or as tough and buttery as any industrial sablé or petit beurre.
Joined: 29 Sep 2004 Posts: 97 Location: Paris, France
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 6:56 pm Post subject:
Hi, I'm an American, living in Paris, AND a friend of Pascale's. She had told me about the Nature a la Tartiner at Leader Price. After finding the real thing at Thanksgiving and The Real McCoy, for 4.50 euros, I decided to give her suggestion a try. It works so well!!! And cost something like 1.10 euros, Leader Price also has a cookie that works great for the crust, called Gallette au Beurre. The ambiance of the place is sad, but after you fill your "caddy" with so many things that you can buy elsewhere, for so much less, you feel happy!
Tapioca Pearls - I have found them at the marche dans le rue/the farmer's markets on the streets and Le Grande Epicerie de Paris. Actually I think you can find all of your requests at Le Grande Epicerie de Paris.
There was an entire thread about Baking Soda/Baking Powder/Tartar on this forum a while ago, you should check it out.
Frozen everything at Picard, and fabulous quality!
Real cheddar at my Monoprix. I specify my Monoprix, because they are not all the same. Mine? 334 rue de Vaugirard, 75015.
Joined: 10 Mar 2005 Posts: 104 Location: Oakland, CA
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:06 am Post subject:
A great resource for American baking ingredients is King Arthur Flour. I called to make sure you can ship to France and they assured me you can.
The website is www.kingarthurflour.com Browse the on-line catalog for your baking needs and then call them.
For orders shipping outside the U.S., you can not order from the website.
Call 802-299-2240 and ask for the catalog order line. (I'm not sure if the 800 number will work outside the US, but you can try it - 800-827-6836.)
They are based in Vermont, which is Eastern Time.
King Arthur's products are very high quality, much better than Betty Crocker and Sara Lee.
As to the cream cheese issue, you need something like Philly cream cheese. Anything too "natural" (without stablizers and the like) won't set up right for a traditional New York style cheese cake. You can get something of the same consistency by draining plain yogurt and making your own yogurt cheese. This will work okay, but you might have to adjust the sugar to compensate for the yogurt's tartness.
If you need a recipe for graham crackers for the crust, let me know and I'll send you one. Or browse King Arthur's recipe files and see if they have something you can use. I think a British whole meal biscuit would work fine.
Alisa has the info down pat. I was going to say exactly the same thing as she has already said.
Speculoos are really delicious used as a cheesecake base. If you think they are a bit spicey you could mix them half and half with the butter biscuits and then you would get a tasty base that is not too spicey. Personally I love them and eat the cheescake mixture off the top and then eat the biscuit base... don't know why I bother putting them together sometimes...
Nature a tartiner is the closet thing to philly cheese that I have found.
Did you mean hard cheddar cheese or the really soft (fake) kraft cheddar cheese? If you want hard cheddar or aged cheddar taste, ask for "agee" as in aged at the fromagerie (my accents are not working so can't put the circonflex on the "a" and the acute accent on the first "e" - sorry). Cheeses like comte or cantal are close. If you ask your fromageur really nicely they will give you a tiny sliver to taste before you decide and buy.
If you want the really soft cheddar there is a cheese made for children which comes in little pale brown semicircular containers about the size of a walnut. They are in a pack of a dozen or so. Can't remember the name of it though sorry. But you can buy them in the supermarket, ie franprix monoprix, G20, 8ahuit etc.
Try the real mccoy and thanksgiving first though, before spending extra money on mail order. We got caught out and had to pay customs duty on something we ordered, which was not nice. Can make your order very very expensive _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Joined: 29 Sep 2004 Posts: 97 Location: Paris, France
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:20 pm Post subject:
Hard, orange, cheddar cheese, comes from England, but is mild, just like the stuff you can buy in the US, is what I purchase at the Fromagerie at "my" Monoprix. You can buy the entire brick, or they will cut off as much as you like. This is the thing for melting in a quesadilla, on a hamburger, whatever!
Debbie, I am thinking that we should meet, if we haven't already. What do you think? Have you gone to any of the C&Z events, i.e. birthday or fois gras tasting?
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