• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Cost of home comforts: How France compares
How do the prices of home comforts in France compare to elsewhere in Europe? Photo: Shutterstock

Cost of home comforts: How France compares

Ben McPartland · 14 Oct 2014, 10:00

Published: 14 Oct 2014 10:00 GMT+02:00

Our mission was this: hit the streets of Vienna, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, Rome, Lausanne and Oslo and fill a basket with 14 items that fill the hearts and clog the arteries of Anglophone foreigners everywhere.

When in Rome, why not sample some stracciatella soup, a plate of succulent osso buco, all topped off with tiramisù? 

Forget about it! Where’s my Jell-O! 

IN PICTURES - WHAT EXPATS MISS FROM BACK HOME

What then will it cost to get hold of these delicacies in cities across Europe? Scroll over the heat map below to count the cost of foodie homesickness?

How we tracked down the goodies

Living in a country like France and dreaming of items of food from back home feels very irreverent, but all expats have their needs and thankfully many of them can be satisfied, if you look hard enough – and if you are willing to pay more than you would at home.

Whether it’s Marmite, Heinz beans or Hershey’s chocolate, expat cravings from items from home are a common phenomenon, even if they are living in a country like France – renowned of course for its cuisine.

The trick however that most expats face, particularly those from the across the pond, is trying to get their hands on the brands they pine for.

Luckily there are more and more traditional items from “back home” appearing in French supermarkets, these days, which a quick trip to Monoprix, one of the country’s biggest supermarket chains reveals.

Not far from the Moutarde de Dijon you can find the famous HP Brown Sauce and just along the shelf from the Comte and Roquefort cheeses you can pick up a pack of Seriously Strong cheddar cheese.

But in order to get every item on our expat shopping list our cravings cannot be satisfied by Monoprix alone and it required a tip to the Epicerie Anglais de Paris, just off Place de la Republique.

The store, run by Jean-Jacques Eucher-Lahon, for the last 20 years is popular among expats and French alike.

“I don’t sell products I sell dreams,” a smiling Jean Jacques told The Local.

“Our customers are Parisians,” Jean Jacques tells The Local. “That is to say they are from all over the world, but live in Paris. They come here looking for specific products.

(Jean-Jacques Eucher-Lahon from the Epicerie Anglaise in Paris)

“Americans come in and say “Oh my God”, when they see something they recognize from back home and many French come in who have been living in the UK or the US and they want to pick up something they used to eat over there.

Helen Watson, a from Ramsden International the UK based firm that supplies many of France’s supermarkets and expats stores with Heinz Baked Beans and the like told The Local that demand for British and American products is on the increase in France.

“The French eating habits are changing and they are eating on the go these days, hence English and American snacks and ready meals are becoming more popular,” Watson said.

Story continues below…

“The younger French generation has also seen a lot of these products on US TV shows so they want the same,” she added.

So whether its homesick expats satisfying their appetites or locals wanting something different the demand is strong for Anglo products, meaning they should be readily available if you just know where to look.

The only problem then is the cost.

As the price list below shows, satisfying cravings can hit expats in the pocket, but many of them are prepared to take that hit, it seems.

Use the scroll bar on the chart below to see all the prices. 

Incidentally, we're aware that we've navel-gazed somewhat and overlooked a lot of nationalities. Please let us know what you miss from your country in the comments or on social media. Can you give us the ingredients we need for another article?

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Pizza-delivery drones could be on their way to France
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's your pizza. Photo: AFP

No more need to deal with grumpy French waiters...

Heatwave drags on as France faces red-hot weekend
Photo: AFP

France will see searing temperatures on Friday and Saturday, as the heatwave warnings have been extended (once again).

Nice: The French capital of burqini fines
The beach in the Riviera city of Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

It's one of only two of the 30 towns with a burqini ban in place to have actually given out any fines.

How to make France's famed Île Flottante dessert
Photo: Paul Oatway

France-based food blogger Laura Tobin shares her recipe for this delicious French dessert.

France's top court set to rule on burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court will decide this afternoon whether to overturn the burqini ban.

Corsica bushfire leaves 500 hectares scorched
Photos: AFP

A massive fire left 500 hectares of bushland in Corsica ravaged.

View from the rue
What do Parisians think of France's burqini bans?
Photo: AFP

With 64 percent of the French against burqinis at the beach, what do the Parisians think?

Almost half of France now on heatwave alert
Children cool off in Nice's fountains. Photo: AFP

Orange alerts - the second highest level - were issued to 43 départements as France's heatwave shows no signs of stopping.

France's top ten beaches to survive the heatwave
Photo: Gomezdegomera/Flickr

Temperatures are soaring... why not head to the beach?

Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
People taking part in activities in the Bassin de la Villette. Photo: AFP

If you fancy a rare chance to swim along the Paris canal system, here comes your chance.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,751
jobs available