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The 17 American Foods I've Missed Most Since Moving To France

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Hi! I'm Marie. I'm French, but until last year I lived in the US. After seven years in New York City, I decided to move back home, and while I'm thoroughly enjoying being reunited with all of my favorite French foods, there are some things I've really missed eating since I left the US.

🍿Here they are: 🍿

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1. Flamin' Hot Cheetos

Marie Telling

Truly the greatest American snack, IMO. I used to eat a single-serve bag of Cheetos almost every day at work — much to the dismay of my coworkers — and I have no shame or regrets. I love and miss everything about Cheetos, from their super-salty flavor to the gross orange powder they leave on your fingers. Sadly, I haven't been able to find any in France, but my friends sent me four bags all the way from the US for my birthday this year, and THAT is what I call friendship.

2. Tater tots

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Tater tots aren't a thing in France — we don't even have the frozen kind at the grocery store. Which is a shame, because tater tots are potato perfection. I'd give all the french fries in Paris for a plate of really good tots.

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3. Ginger ale

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Ginger ale is straight-up delicious. It's also a magical drink that can make you (me) feel better whenever hung over or sick. So really, I'm thinking it's a matter of public health that France import it ASAP.

4. Queso

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For a nation of cheese lovers, you'd think we'd have embraced queso a long time ago. But the glorious Tex-Mex specialty is, unfortunately, almost impossible to find in France. If anyone is looking for a business idea in Paris, I guarantee this would be a major hit.

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5. Raisinets

I know Raisinets are a very divisive snack, but I just love them. And I love them even more mixed with salted popcorn at the movies (in nondistancing times!). So please give Raisinets the love they deserve, because this French fan wishes she still could.

6. American bacon

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You can sometimes find bacon at American breakfast spots in Paris, but I've yet to find it at the supermarket. The closest thing we have is lardons — aka lard cut into small strips — and they don't even come close to American bacon.

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7. Cheddar popcorn

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French popcorn is sweet and caramelized instead of savory, and almost always consumed only at movie theaters. And though I do love that, nothing beats a big bag of cheddar popcorn — especially the one from Trader Joe's, for which I'd pay big money right now.

8. Thanksgiving food

Taylor Miller, Marie Telling

I don't crave turkey, which to me is super dry and overrated. What I crave are the sides: the stuffing, potato rolls, casseroles (even the sweet potato–marshmallow one) — and the PIES. We have great desserts and pastries in France, but sometimes all you really want is a slice of pecan pie.

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9. A dollar slice

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Eating a New York City dollar slice at 2 a.m. when you're both drunk and hungry is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. I miss that cheap cheese burning the roof of my mouth. I miss the chili oil dripping everywhere. I miss the rowdy, hole-in-the-wall pizza shops. I even miss the flimsy paper plates and tiny, useless napkins!

10. A classic diner breakfast

Marie Telling

American food is actually extremely trendy in France right now, so you'll have no trouble finding good pancakes in Paris. But because of the hype, you'll also have to wait forever for it and pay $15 for a stack of three. All I want is to walk into a random diner, order a full breakfast with a stack of pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, and coffee, all for $10. I also want a root beer float, but that's another story.

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11. Lobster rolls

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Trust the Americans to take one of the most high-key foods and make it low-key. In France, lobster is a treat for the rich or a special holiday. When I first heard about a sandwich filled with lobster, it seemed so decadent and wrong that it could only be right. Lobster rolls quickly became a staple of my New York summers. Maybe I'll treat myself to a homemade lobster roll if I win the lottery, but in the meantime, I still have the memories.

12. Fried chicken

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Fried is, hands down, the best way to eat chicken. There are a few American restaurants in Paris that have it on their menu, but it's never as good (or as well-seasoned) as the fried chicken I used to eat in US. And you won't even be able to eat it with waffles because, tragically, the French have yet to discover the beauty of that food combo.

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13. Proper barbecue

Marie Telling

Good BBQ is sometimes even hard to find outside of the South in the US, so it shouldn't be a surprise that it's almost impossible to get great brisket or pulled pork in France. And if you're looking for barbecue sides, like potato salad and baked beans, you won't find them here, either.

14. Pumpkin bread

Marie Telling

Sure, the pumpkin-flavored food craze that befalls America every fall borders on ridiculous. But pumpkin bread is delightful, and I wish French supermarkets would carry pumpkin puree instead of marshmallow fluff so I could still enjoy this treat at least once a year.

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15. Cheesy fries

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France obviously has excellent french fries (we also have very good burgers, by the way). What we don't have are fries covered in melted cheese, and I'm ready to declare this a national failure on our part.

16. Cornbread

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Being reunited with baguettes has been one of the greatest things about moving back to France, but that doesn't mean I don't miss some American breads. Warm cornbread with butter is up there in the pantheon of all-time greatest foods, and I wish the American food trend in Paris would leave pancakes alone for a minute to focus on this instead.

17. Bagels with lox and cream cheese

Marie Telling

This is probably the single thing I've craved the most. A good New York bagel smothered with cream cheese and covered with lox is the best cure for any bad day, or any bad hangover. It's hard to find great bagels outside of New York (although I'll settle for a Montreal bagel), so don't get me started on French bagels, which don't even deserve to bear that sacred name.

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These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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