My tastebuds tingle when I think of the wealth of French souvenirs and gifts you can bring home from France. Cheese, wine, sweet treats and more.
I mean, the country even invented the word souvenir!
But away form plastic Eiffel Towers and dubious berets, here's a guide to authentic French souvenirs that your friends and family will actually want to receive.
Or, well, things to buy in France that you'll enjoy yourself as well!
Pastel pretty in pink, lemon, lavender and mint, nothing whispers sweet French chic like a well arranged set of macarons.
Never mind that Italy claim them as their own, to the world at large they represent all the glamour and romance that Paris can offer.
Quernons d'Ardoise hail from the Anjou region in the Loire. They take their colour from the slate that decorates the castle and their insides from something altogether tastier.
Caramel, Chocolate and Nut
In essence, they're caramelized praline, coated with violet chocolate with chopped almonds and hazelnuts inside.
And they're absolutely gorgeous.
The best way to work out which French wines to bring home is to travel to the stunning region in and around Bordeaux and set up some wine tasting sessions in St Emilion. Although, be warned, this did ruin me for life.
Every time I taste red wine now, I can't help thinking that "it's not as good as it was in St Emilion." Ruined.
Yes, the region of Champagne in France produces one or two bottles of bubbly that are worth bringing home.
Do we really need to say more on the subject?
Roquefort cheese makes for a tricky souvenir to bring home but it's just about possible if it's sealed and your journey is short.
Pungent, creamy and salty with a sting, this blue cheese can only be made in the caves surrounding Roquefort itself.
If I'm honest, I'll admit that I don't actually enjoy absinthe. Known as the "green fairy," you buy (and drink) it for its legendary status rather than because anyone actually likes it.
It's supposed to have psychedelic properties and inspired the creatives in fin de siecle Paris into a whirl of Toulouse-Lautrec soaked Moulin Rouge expression.
To most of the rest of us, it simply results in a hangover.
But hey ho. It's up to you!
It's another niche food entry but the deep red pepper produced in the Basque region of Espelette furnishes a range of delicious (and not so delicious) French souvenirs. Look out for cherry-pepper wine, flavoured jamon, and of course the peppers themselves. As well as tourist paraphernalia in every pepper shape available.
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