French Souvenirs: What to Bring Home From France

By Abi King | France

Jun 14
French Souvenirs Sign for article about shopping in France

French Souvenirs - what to buy and bring home from France

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!

Authentic French Souvenirs

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!

Oo la. 

Classic French Souvenirs: Macarons

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.

Like the shades they come in, they represent the city at its rose-tinted best, all twinkling lights and dreamy riverside walks, wrapped up in an art deco version of an intoxicating moulin rouge.

Unusual French Souvenirs: Quernons d'Ardoise

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.

Red French Souvenirs: Bordeaux & St Emilion

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.

Bubbly French Souvenirs: Champagne

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?


Speckled French Souvenirs: Roquefort

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.

Green French Souvenirs: Absinthe

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!

Peppery French Souvenirs: Baque Peppers in Espelette

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. 

French souvenir ideas. 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. Here are some ideas of what to bring back from Paris - and the rest of France - in an authentic way. #France #Paris

About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more.

  • Gayla says:

    I’m not sure which I’d like to try first, the Quernon d’Ardoise or the macarons inspired by them! They both look so delicious…and I just love the slate color :-)

    • Abi says:

      Shhh…Well, a slight secret of mine. Macarons LOOK amazing. But they can sometimes taste a little…stale?! The Quernons d’Ardoise on the other hand…oooh, sheer pleasure!

      • Gayla says:

        You are so right about the macarons. I’ve had a few stale ones on occasion :-( Now…where to find the Quernons d’Ardoise closer to home (Netherlands), until I get another chance to visit France ;-) ;-)

      • Abi says:

        Ah…Um, there’s a flaw in every great plan I suppose!

  • I will take both Quernons d’Ardoise AND Quernons d’Ardoise-favored macarons, please ;-)

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