8 American Things I Can’t Live Without in Paris

A year after leaving the U.S., there are lots of things I enjoy (baguettes, croissants, shopping) and miss (my friends, my job, ENGLISH). So when my husband and I traveled last month to New York — he for work, me to hang out and meet up with friends and colleagues — there were a few things I knew I wanted to be sure and bring back to Paris. In short order, here’s the random stuff that I miss so much in Paris I loaded up my bag for the return trip:

American stuff I miss in Paris

  • Peanut butter. This is one food that’s as American as pie — that the French are notoriously not fond of (hubby is grossed out by my daily PB habit). Sadly, most grocery stores don’t carry peanut butter; those that do usually just have Jiffy. And I am a total PB snob: I can’t stand the fake ingredients and sugar in that stuff. Fortunately I found a health food store near me that sells just plain-old-peanut butter, but it doesn’t have salt in it and tastes oddly flavorless. So a quality jug of the most expensive nuts I could get my hands on was much in order.
  • Vitamin B face wash: I’m sure I can find something similar in Paris, but I am still loyal to my New York facial spot (hey there, Heyday), and I love this vitamin B cleansing face oil from Elizabeth Dehn. I use on my face at night and it smells amazing and leaves my skin sooooo soft.
  • BB creamDitto for this stuff. I use this Dr. Jart+ BB cream most days for sunscreen and light coverage. Who knows, maybe I can find it if I dig around enough at Sephora here…but I haven’t seen it yet.
  • Calcium & vitamin DOMG. It is, like, impossible to find affordable vitamins in Paris. Everything comes in 100-pill packs for 20-30 euros. Come on people! I got 500 higher-dose calcium pills and 600 D3 pills for $15 each at Costco. Speaking of, one more American thing I miss…
  • Matcha powder. This stuff has become the new kale in New York City. No, seriously…I spent a lot of quality time at Cha Cha Matcha when we were in NYC — they got to know me — and you can find it in just about any health food shop. That trend hasn’t quite made it to Paris yet, but I give it a year.
  • Chili seasoning & cayenne. French people DO NOT EAT spicy food. I tried to get the hubby started (I am from Arizona, after all!) but failed miserably. Hence, “chili powder” in Paris is, invariably, a variation on paprika. Not even a hint of hot. I was craving a good bowl of spicy guac; now I can get me some!
  • Cholula sauce. On that note, eggs just hadn’t been the same without this stuff.
  • Cute dog toys. Of course Paris has cute dog toys. I just haven’t found where yet…and it ain’t on Amazon. This little rope-squeaky toy was actually a gift from a very thoughtful friend — these little guys are mochis (same name as my little girl!):

Mochi the dog

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