American Ingredients in France SANS Google Translate

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Baking in France seems like a pain in the 'cul' AT FIRST, but have no fear Anglo-Saxons, there is hope! After a year of searching vigorously for the French equivalent to various items, I've figured it all out.

NOTE: Being that Paris has a high traffic of American tourists, there are stores as well as a market to find all of the American brands. Therefore this article is for all of the struggling Anglo Sax's like me in other French cities. God Bless you.

1. Brown Sugar
This one gave me a headache for a while..
  • light brown sugar: cassonade/sucre roux --I generally buy the Daddy brand. It is unrefined, pure cane sugar. AKA the real deal.
  • packed brown sugar: betterave sucrière/la vergeoise --You will mostly only find these at big supermarkets like Carrefour, Auchan, and E.Leclerc

2. Baking Powder/ Baking Soda
You have two options, and they are both found in different aisles. Remember that the French version have a different ash percentage in the flour, therefore sometimes you need to play around with the recipe's measurements. 
  • baking powder: levure chimique: found in the baking aisle. They come in mini packets and in my opinion are the best option.
  • baking soda: bicarbonate de soude--found in the cleaning aisle or at the pharmacy. I never use this because I find that it gives a strange taste. Even when the recipe calls for baking soda I use levure chimique. 

3. Non-Stick Spray
This one is simple: there is none. I'm excluding Paris because they have various American stores, however throughout France you will not find this. Consider yourself lucky because it is a chemical product that is bad for your health. Sometimes the real thing is all you need! BUTTER!

4. Vegetable Shortening
The French are pretty grossed out by our usage of shortening. 
  • Crisco: graisse végétale--I use Planta Find Doux found at the supermarket. It looks a bit like a case of margarine but it works just fine. This is one, however, that I suggest ordering online because there's nothing that compares to the consistency of it. 

5. Cornstarch
Also found in the baking aisle. It's simple: maïzena. It comes in a box the size of cake mix.

6. Heavy Cream
  • for solidification: crème fraîche epaisse. It's what I use for cakes such as tiramisu to create a solid layer. The literal translation is thick heavy cream.
  • as a liquid: crème fraîche. 

7. Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is generally not sold in Europe. Although it is not banned here entirely, they regulate the amount that is used. Sometimes Karo Light Corn Syrup it can be found in the international aisle as sirop de maïs IF you're lucky! 
*Here is a site to order it. They ship across Europe.


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