Practising Creativity

Coming to a French Grocery Store Near You – Canned Pumpkin!

Bienvenue! But at what price?

All large grocery stores in France have an International Section. It's where you find the American/British/Mexican/Asian/Italian/Spanish/Portuguese/North African specific items. In other words, if you're an American with a hankering for Cesar Salad dressing, Fluff marshmallow cream, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, or Hershey's Chocolate syrup, this is where you find it. Not that I buy those kinds of things often, mind you, but sometimes you get a Reese's Peanut Butter cup itch you just have to scratch. 

Let me preface this pumpkin post, by saying there are many foods Americans LOVE, French are just not into and frankly, find a bit weird. Canned pumpkin falls into this category and is probably why I've never found it in a French grocery store in the two plus decades I've lived here. French people don't get the concept. Why buy canned when you've got so many wonderful fresh pumpkins to choose from? If I try and explain it's for pumpkin pie, or pumpkin cake (these type of breads = cake in French, and they're salty, not sweet, yes, I know, confusing), they'll raise their eyebrows and look horrified I'd eat pumpkin as a sweet (pumpkins aren't normally used for sweet things in France). I may be French, but that American side of me wants my damn pumpkin bread without the hassle of prepping a raw pumpkin to get it (for more info on pumpkins in France see this post on French pumpkin varieties).

Recently, we were in a shop we don't go to that often (enjoying their air conditioning – we've been hanging out in grocery stores a lot lately) when I decided to run a little International Section reconnaissance. You never know when something new will pop up. SCORE!!! They had CANNED PUMPKIN!!!  Oh, happy day!!!

'Look, look!' I yelled for my husband, pointing to the shelf in front of me. 'They have PUMPKIN!' 

And then I looked a little bit harder and saw that pumpkin can cost €5.12. Gulp. At today's rate of exchange that's about $5.25. 

Then I checked the price on Amazon (where I usually find it) and there it's €5.94 a can ($6.05), so at least it's less than that. Of course I couldn't just leave it at that. Nope. I had to go for the complete buzz kill and double check what I paid the last time I ordered it in November of 2020. Then it was €3.66 a can ($3.73), which means I'm seeing an increase of  $1.39 (grocery store) or $2.32 (Amazon) a can. 

Grocery store 1, Amazon 0. 

Banana bread is looking better and better.

1 comment

  1. Maybe I shouldn't start this comment by telling you I picked up a can of pumpkin puree on clearance from a grocery store for $1.99. And that was for the big 796ml can. 'Course I can't use it because all my baking as of late has been all zucchini recipes all the time as I try to keep up with what the one zucchini plant in my garden has been producing. To say the plant is winning would be an understatement.
    While I get some of the items that would be in the international section....Caesar dressing? I'm assuming people in France don't eat Caesar salad? It's a staple here at my house....though I make it with kale rather than romaine lettuce so it's healthier (and I think kale tastes way better too).

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