thanksgiving made easier in france… finally!

Happy (late) Thanksgiving to all my American (and Canadian) friends!

This marks my 9th year of being in France for the big day.

Yep, you heard it right. I haven’t been in the US for Thanksgiving since 2005. I have been in France every Thanksgiving since then. Sometimes I celebrated the day (like last year), sometimes I have not. It depends on my level of motivation, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so I’m usually more motivated than not.

And it’s hard not to be motivated to get cooking when it’s getting easier and easier to find the needed ingredients in France. And I’m not talking about ordering off special websites, or going to speciality shops. I’m talking about just popping into the supermarket.

Other long-term expats in France would probably agree with me when I say that there are many more American products that are available now than just a few years ago. For example, Philadelphia cream cheese is everywhere. When I first arrived? Forget about it! Then, it was available at Monoprix before slowly making its way to other supermarkets. Our local Auchan supermarket now stocks Reese’s, Dr Pepper, Rootbeer, etc.

Other than a seasoning mix leftover from other years (though I could easily make it here if I wanted), every single thing I needed for my meal was bought at local stores including the pumpkin* (see below), sweet potatoes (found practically everywhere), and cranberries (found at Monoprix, Carrefour, Grand Frais, etc).

Okay, it is difficult to find a whole turkey as they are bred for Christmas time in France, but I always opt for a rôti de dinde (turkey roast) made from turkey breasts anyway. It’s all white meat (what I like), and you’re not paying for the weight of bones. I cook it just like I would a normal turkey (basting it and everything), and it comes out nice and juicy. This year, I ordered one from the butcher in our new neighborhood, and it might have been the best turkey I’ve ever eaten!

J was out of town on Thanksgiving itself, so we celebrated the Saturday after with two of our closest friends (and I was once again the only American). It was a delicious dinner (if I do say so myself), and great catching up with some good friends.

Making homemade cranberry sauce


Table all set

thanksgiving the meal

Thanksgiving is served!

thanksgiving - plate of food

Pumpkin pie

thanksgiving pumpkin pie


(No pictures of the group as I didn’t ask permission to publish their photo.)

*And in case anyone is wondering, I found the pumpkin puree at Picard. It’s just like the canned only frozen. They also have good bagels (to put your Philadelphia to good use)! They’re so much better than the questionable ones you find in the bread aisle of certain supermarkets.

What products have you found in France that used to be impossible to come across?


12 thoughts on “thanksgiving made easier in france… finally!

    • Thanks! To be fair, the Thanksgiving in 2006 was when I was studying abroad. I was back home for a long time after that but was back in France for Thanksgiving 2007 and every year after that!


  1. It looks… wow, as good as meals I’ve seen on TV over the weekend!

    I noticed French supermarkets were opening to foreign products a bit more. I found (in the original packaging, i.e. imported, no copied) Australian and US cookies (including Oreos and TimTam), Chinese noddles and spices and tons of British goods.

    The last thing to come to Canada from France was… Danette! Just a few weeks ago, the products are now available.


    • Thanks! I’ve never had anyone compare it to what they’ve seen on TV 🙂

      It’s so nice being able to find more and more things in French supermarkets. Foreign foods are even becoming more popular in restaurants and even food trucks! And outside of Paris which is exciting! I love French food, but sometimes I like a little taste of home or something exotic. And in my world, the spicier, the better.

      Are you able to find quite a few things from France in Canada? I imagine there are more options than in the US.


  2. Wow, nine years! The other week I did a trial run of my mother’s cheeseball recipe before unleashing it on the Luxembourgers for Christmas – it’s literally just a ball of Philadelphia, cheddar and onion soup mix rolled in crushed walnuts, but I wanted to make sure I got the proportions of onion soup right. Anyway, I went to like three different supermarkets and none of them had onion soup mix!! I eventually had to buy it in Luxembourg, bizarre..


    • That cheeseball recipe sounds yummy! All good things rolled together in one? It must be delicious! It’s funny where we end up finding things and where we can’t. Glad you managed to find the mix!


    • Thanks! The foods my family eats on Thanksgiving are some of the things I miss the most. I’m happy to be able to recreate them and share them with friends here. Happy holidays to you as well!


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