Tips from a reader

This morning I got a wonderful email from a reader of Lyon Eats. She sent her contributions to help the rest of us navigate the stores and markets in search of American products and substitutes. Thank you, K. C.!

Sun-dried tomatoes
I found tomates séchées à l'huile at our local Casino grocery store and the jar I bought was actually a Casino brand (Saveurs d' Ailleurs).

Sour cream
Crème fraîche épaisse (15%) is the closest to American sour cream. The brand I buy is Bridelice. Crème fraîche to me is the consistency of sour cream, but tastes like cream cheese. I have substituted the two though if I am in a bind and crème fraîche is what I have on hand, and it works fine.

Cream cheese
I use St. Moret for all cream cheese substitutes. You can buy it in a block (just like the shape of Philly cream cheese, except it is in a plastic container, not foil wrapped) and you don't have to unwrap all of those little Kiri wrappers!


Colleen Rakowski said...

If you want cream cheese I have actually found Philadelphia in Carrefour! I was going to use Fromage Blanc is that a good subtitute too?

Dori said...

Actually this post was originally from Feb 2009, and things have changed quite a bit since then. You can now find Philadelphia cream cheese just about anywhere, and Elle & Vire has come out with a French brand of cream cheese. see http://lyon-eats.blogspot.fr/2011/07/french-brand-of-cream-cheese.html

The other substitute is the brand name: St Môret, however the generic Fromage à Tartiner works to.

I find that for doing a desert it's best to stick to the original so that you have the same consistency. However if you just want to slather it on a bagel, the cheaper fromage à tartiner works fine.

Fromage Blanc is more of a yogurt consistency and won't due as a replacement for cream cheese.