Why Thanksgiving Makes Me Wanna Holla!

Most of my friends would describe me as generous….but I’m feeling a little like a Scrooge today. It all started this week after I decided to throw a Thanksgiving dinner party for all my American friends here in Paris. With shopping list in hand demanding turkey, cornbread and cranberry sauce, I headed to the grocery store. Since these are “American” items, they are not carried in the French “supermarchés.” I made a special trip to two stores I heard carried American brands. As I was shopping with thoughts of sweet potato pie in my head, I began to feel like I was getting ganked…gaffeled…hustled. Everything was expensive, bordering on extortion with 600% markups on some items (See item No. 2 below). Since I have 12 people expecting dinner Thursday there is nothing I can do but vent to you. So here goes:

The five reasons why cooking Thanksgiving dinner in Paris “Makes Me Want To Holla!”:

1. While the French don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, they don’t mind profiting from it. One Parisian store is called “Thanksgiving.” There you will find $6 cream cheese and a Yam for 5 Euros! The kicker was the people working in the store only spoke a little English!

2. Jiffy Cornbread is like an old family friend. Unfortunately here in Paris it’s like the friend who went away to college and came back a little snooty! One box of Jiffy mix is $6. Isn’t it like 50 cents at American grocery stores?

3. I asked my local “boucherie” (butcher) if I could order a whole Turkey, he frowned and exclaimed “Non. C’est American” Translation: No! That’s American…my reply: “Well yes and so am I!”

4. When I finally found a turkey at the Thanksgiving store, they were selling turkeys for the low low price of 70 Euros! You do the math, that’s $87 give or take. I could be having a filet at the Brooklyn steakhouse, Peter Luger- who needs Thanksgiving!

5. Everything is small in France, including the ovens. Luckily, I found out beforehand that they only fit small turkeys. I could have been like a friend last year who bought a turkey only to find out when she go home that it didn’t fit! At 70 Euros, I would have gone Postal!

All of this and I haven’t cooked dinner yet. If all else fails at least I have a great business idea for next year…importing American food to France!

-French Kissed

Want to feel like you’re traveling without moving? Read the rest of French Kissed’s experiences here.


Last 5 posts by French Kissed

  • amelda

    this is hilarious. when i was living in London a couple years back, my american roommates and i just said “eff it” and went for expensive Italian and good wine. neither then nor now would I attempt to cook a full Thanksgiving meal, or for that matter, a full dinner with a meat, veggie, and starch.

    Good luck.

  • Denise Joly

    And I feel like Dagastino in the city is ripping me off! This “prends les gateaux!” 🙂 No the real question is, where are you going to find the collard greens?

  • LC

    THAT IS CRAZY!!!!!!!!! Guess you won’t be cooking Thanksgiving dinner! At least not American style. Break out the croissants! Great idea for a business plan though!

  • Nakita Johnson

    > That is a nightmare especially when your mouth is watering for some sweet potatoe pie and traditional moist turkey and cranberry and then WHAM. GOTCHA. Mouth dry from the unexpected profit the french want to make on these items. I’m so sorry for you.
    > Plan B is much needed.
    …..so what is Plan B you ask? It’s a Thanksgiving festivity with a mixture of cultures due to overpriced traditional American food. Menu should consist of alittle bit of French/Italian, American (as in traditional apple pie a la mode) and something a little spicy (Caribbean style). Maybe I could share my Caribbean punch recipe-peeps will be so intoxicated they won’t even care. I hope this works out for you.
    – nakita

  • rhob d

    geezzzzzzzzzz!!!!! but damn this had me ROFL!!!

  • T Jeff

    OK you know I can make the whole meal with a turkey and ham for what you paid for a turkey! Keep the traditions going no matter where you go…next time have everyone bring their favorite dish that’s what people do back home and it’s less stress.

  • Djuna

    Maybe your American friends can bring the wine & dessert. That will off-set some of the cost. If you do not make a whole turkey, be sure and make turkey wings. My landlord broil’s them in the oven and they are delicious. Yummy. They can chip in. They won’t mind.

  • Sope

    Co-sign on the international thanksgiving… Love the blog… and need updates. Let us know how thanksgiving goes and which dating contender is holding it down?! The whole overlooking what’s right in front of you for some “idea” is eerily familiar… it’s heartening to hear your stories, the Italian sounded promising! p.s. lmao re: biz idea for next year… you’re taking the holiday back to its roots, basically profiteering… but um, let me know if you need a stateside biz partner to ship the stuff to ya 😉