Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Thursday 30 June 2011

Stuffing a French suitcase for Canada

I have no idea how I got confused, but somehow, I thought we had a few more days before boarding the plane to Canada. And... apparently, we don't!

I'd had big plans to leisurely stroll through the shopping malls and markets before I left, picking out French treats that I could stuff into my suitcase to bring back for my Canadian friends, but now I think I'm going to have to shop through Nice as though I've won a 10-minute all-you-can-grab shopping spree.

Here's what's on my wish list so far (items I wish I could offer to friends in Canada), but I'm sure only a few items will make it into my case. Most of the things I'd like to bring, of course, are completely impractical and would never make it. A bottle of wine, however, should at least be do-able. The rest will have to wait until my Canadian friends come here.

The list:

some sort of canned duck
red wine
galettes bretonnes
Pastis? (Thinking about it. Do Canadians like drinking licorice?)

What else? What else?

The shopping spree starts tomorrow! Awkwardly, on a day when I should be abandoning all things French in favour of all things Canadian.

I will wear red as I burn through the aisles, I swear.


  1. I wouldn't bring any meat products unless canned...and cheese only if it's sealed in vacuum sealed dairy either...or the border guards will be having a french feast in the airport! (those things aren't allowed in...don't even try!)...i've brought lavender products back from france...and soaps...those little mits to shower with are also cute....have fun back home! Wish i was heading back, too...maybe next summer!

  2. Susan: Lavender products are a great idea. I'd really just been thinking about the buttery cookies that I want to bring for my nephew -- the rest of the list, I may never get. It's so hard to sum up a country in one shopping list, last minute!

    I hope you have a wonderful summer even if you can't head back this year.

  3. I've never brought back food, just wine once for friends and honestly it was a pain in the butt with the connecting flight.

    Some boxes or galettes are good too, especially you can usually keep the metal box and use it for something else. Herbs and spices too maybe.

  4. Zhu: Wine, definitely. And those little boxes are a nice, too. Why is everything nice so heavy??!

  5. Susan is on point. The Marseille soaps are great gifts. There are a couple places in Vieux Nice that sell them in 3s. Oh, those kitchen towels too are a nice idea; cooking types like those.

    How about calisons? And nougat? Those are small and light and should please at least a few people.

    You're allowed 2 bottles of wine duty free so go for it! If you bring back more than the two keep the receipts as 1) they'll want to know how much you paid and tax that amt or 2) they may not care and just tell you thanks for being honest (it's happened to me on several occasions).

    As for the duck and cheese, that's tricky. The cheese you can bring back as long as it's not in whey (from what I understand from the border patrol folks). If you pack cheese I recommend putting it in a Tupperware container unless you want everything else in the suitcase to smell like your cheese.

    PS: You're gonna look great in that red sweater! :-)

  6. Tanya: I'm sure the other expats will appreciate your info. Thanks!

    So far, I'm going down the wine and cookie path, since I've done perfumes, beach clothes, fancy French hats, soaps from Grasse, wine of course and -- shoot, I can't even think of what else!

    And then, once I land in Canada, I always start making a list of what I'd like to bring back to France. I guess this is becoming my summer/winter shopping cycle.

    Need anything from back home? ;-)

  7. I've been thinking about Clodhoppers actually but since I head back in a few weeks I'll stock up. Oh, and maybe some real maple syrup. Yumm.

  8. Wow you're coming back so soon! You must be excited! I adore the galettes and the cans too. They're so beautiful (the cans). I recall I only brought back the galettes, a few French books, lavendar soaps, perfume are the fancy French hats going to make it into your case???

    Have fun with the shopping spree!