For some reason, American tourists are shocked to learn that Parisians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Actually, Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, so visitors to the City of Light may just have to trade those dreams of turkey and mashed potatoes for confit de canard and gratin de pommes de terre.(Although, there are a few restaurants in the city that provide a traditional American Turkey Day dinner, chief among them Breakfast in America, which operates two Parisian eateries. And click here to find even more Parisian spots to celebrate Thanksgiving.)
But what to do if you’re an ex-pat living in the city? Or if you’re renting a Parisian apartment and want to cook a Thanksgiving meal of your own?
Fortunately, there’s a shop in Paris’s 4th Arrondissement—actually called Thanksgiving—that specializes in American products that aren’t available in Parisian grocery stores. Some of the best-sellers are Lucky Charms, Betty Crocker cake mixes, Kraft mac and cheese, microwave popcorn, brownie mixes and even Pop-Tarts. And at this time of the year the store offers all the products needed for an authentic American Thanksgiving—turkey, stuffing, gravy, canned cranberries, Durkees fried onions and canned pumpkin, among others.
But be prepared to shell out big Euros for those American goodies. In fact, expect everything in the shop to cost at least double the U.S. price, and in some cases much, much more. For example, a box of Froot Loops will set you back 12 Euros (about $15), canned spray cheese 9.65 Euros (about $13) and even Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup is 4.50 Euros (almost $6).
Truth be told, I’ve only visited the shop to score a few cans of Diet Dr. Pepper. (Seriously, try finding that—or the non-diet version—ANYWHERE else in France!) Although I did think about that big jar of Skippy peanut butter. But I ultimately decided it probably wouldn’t go very well with croissants.