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Ramp/Wild Garlic pasta

I’ve become weary – and wary – of the American aisles in European supermarkets. And have come to the conclusion that people think we all eat badly because we live on bottled salad dressings, orange cheese in squirt bottles, and strawberry Fluff, which is something I’ve never seen in America. And I like Fluff just fine. (Just the plain, though. The red scares me. However truth be told, I’ve been known to succumb to the magic of Lucky Charms, a long time ago.) But when that’s the sole image representing American food, it’s sad to me, because we’ve had a wonderful renaissance in the last few decades of marvelous farmers’ markets sprouting up everywhere, even in the middle of the most urban city in the world, New York.

Ramp/Wild Garlic pasta

Of course, no one is exporting fresh American goat cheese to France, farm eggs, small-batch jams, or artisan honeys, since they have those things in abundance here. (And the French have their share of goofy foods, too, including unusual flavors of tinned ravioli, but they don’t seem to make it across the Atlantic.)

Ramp/Wild Garlic pasta

In Switzerland recently, while touring with my group, I noticed at the sweet little auberge near Lausanne where we had dinner the final night, that the blackboard propping the door open said the plat du jour was fondue with bear’s garlic (ail des ours). Although lunch that day was cheese beignets, and dinner the night before was fondue at Café Grütli, and we’d had a cheese-tasting that afternoon at a cheese-ripening cave, for some reason, I was hungry for yet another hit of melted cheese. Happily, the owner was kind enough to bring me, and my group, a small pot for a taste. And let me tell you, if we weren’t facing another full-on dinner of Swiss food, I would have scraped that entire pot clean.

Ramp/Wild Garlic pasta

Bear’s garlic is known as alliuym ursinum, whose leaves are similar to ramps (allium tricoccum), but there are no bulbs on the ends. (I’ve seen it called ramson, and it’s often referred to as wild garlic, in English as well.)

Ramp/Wild Garlic pasta

Ramps, which are closely related to bear’s or wild garlic, are a big deal in the United States and apparently their first appearance provokes a frenzy at farmers’ markets when just the last few bunches of them remain at farm stands. I can’t say I’ve ever seen them in Paris, and I was surprised (and delighted) to see bear’s garlic at my local market at the stand of the woman that sells odd root vegetables – like orange-colored beets, parsley roots, and watermelon radishes – and immediately asked for a bunch.

Ours is one of those tongue-twisting words that can be a challenge for English-speakers to get right (well, at least me), and the vendor had no idea what I was asking for when I requested a bunch. Ours is pronounced, according to my Larousse French dictionary, as urs. I knew she knew what ail des ours was, since she was selling it. But no one behind me in line did. And, as so often happens at outdoor markets in Paris, it prompted a discussion from the others, asking about what it was that I was buying. When I said that it had a specific fresh garlic flavor, reminiscent of very strong chives as well, I don’t think I was winning them over. But I was thrilled to have a bunch to prepare last weekend.

Ramp/Wild Garlic pasta

(I should have said that the bear’s garlic was “Très bon pour la santé”, or “Good for your health,” since I use that to convince reluctant people here to try new things that they are skeptical of and it always works. When I was trying to find out why it’s called bear’s garlic, I was led to a bunch of health websites, like WebMD, that said that people take bear’s garlic for indigestion, gas, high blood pressure, and arteriosclerosis. Another site said that it got its name because bears in Europe ate it.)

I was hoping to make a fondue but with the warmer weather we’re been having, I decided me to go with fresh pasta. And honestly, when you have something special, it’s sometimes best just to do as little to it as possible. Which I did.

Ramp pasta recipe

Wild Garlic Pasta

We don’t get ramps in France, at least I’ve never seen them. But I am certain you can use those in place of the bears’ garlic. Since they have tiny bulbs at the bottom, you may need to trim those and sauté them first, before adding the leaves, as they will take a bit longer to soften. Ramps can be less-strong in flavor than wild garlic. So if you want to use them, you could use up to 8 ounces (225g.) It’s vital to use fresh pasta, which you can make yourself – I used the recipe from My Paris Kitchen, without adding fresh herbs – or you can use the recipe for fresh pasta here on the site. You’ll need about 1 1/4 pounds (565g) – my recipe is generous because I love homemade pasta so much, so you can dry the rest of the batch to use for another purpose. (Or freeze the leftover dough.) I cut my noodles wide, by hand, creating what’s called papparadelli. You can use fettucini-shaped pasta if you have a pasta cutter attachment, or are buying fresh pasta. Gnocchi would work well, too. I shaved a bit of ricotta salata (dried ricotta), a mild Italian cheese that my local Italian restaurant has been selling me, with an agreeable tang that doesn’t interfere with other flavors, over each serving. But I didn’t snap a picture of them as it was getting dark – and I was hungry! So feel free to do so, if you can get your hands on some.
  • 6 to 8 ounces (170g to 225g) wild garlic, or ramps
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for finishing the pasta
  • 1 1/4 pounds (565g) fresh pasta
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Wash and dry the leaves of wild garlic (or ramps). Coarsely chop the leaves. You should have 1 1/2 to 2 cups, loosely packed. (If using ramps, trim off the thicker bulbs before chopping the leaves, and sauté them in the pan first, since they’ll take a bit longer to cook through than the leaves, in step #4.)
  • Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet. When hot, add the wild garlic, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, drop the pasta in the boiling water. While the pasta is cooking, stir the garlic in the pan until it’s wilted and soft.
  • When the pasta is done, drain well then toss in the skillet with the garlic.
  • Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and drizzle each with additional olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, if desired.

Related Recipes and Links

Bear’s Garlic Pesto (Sweet Pea)

Wild Garlic and Asparagus Risotto (Lovely Greens)

History of the popularity of ramps (Grub Street)

Pasta with Stinging Nettles and Ramps Pesto (Sassy Radish)

Ravenous for Ramps (Gourmet)

Wet and wild garlic risotto (The Guardian)

Wild Garlic Hummus (Nami-Nami)

Wild Garlic Butter (A Life of Geekery)


    • Eleanor

    What is fluff??

    When I was little and we lived in rural Lincolnshire Wild Garlic grew in the hedgerows and was collected and eaten a lot. It is also nice lightly wilted and smothered in butter which probably negates any health benefits!

    • shira

    In another week or so the ramps will be perfect for picking here in Connecticut. This sounds like a delicious way to use them!

    • Maryea {happy healthy mama}

    Oh, that American foods aisle makes me sad. Like, really sad. Mostly because it probably is a true representation of the vast majority of Americans and the Standard American Diet.
    On a happier note, your dish looks gorgeous.

    • Angel Reyes

    Amazing, as always. Although I may enjoy some sort of red or white sauce in my pasta, I usually preffer to just toss it in garlic and oil.

    I love the American isle picture! Keep the amazing post coming!

    • Dejah

    Hi David, thank you for yet another lovely post. I have lived in Lausanne since 1995 and discovered ail des ours via a Swiss German neighbor way back then. What you might not know is that it grows wild all over the place this time of year and only the “lazy” will buy it at the weekend Marché and heaven forbid – the Coop! Afternoon strolls or a mid-day run allows one to gather in bounty this amazing “weed”. Though a thorough wash is highly recommended as the same paths are a favorite of dog walkers as well! I like to serve mine mixed in with a simple omelette and a bit of melted mountain cheese. Add a side salad and this has been a staple spring dinner for years.

    Lastly, as I am avid follower and read many of your posts I want you to know that I have purchased all of your books. Waiting for the latest to be delivered from! I think as dear fans and readers we should all try to give back for the hours and hours you put in for our daily entertainment. Just a word of encouragement to others. Thank you!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      The omelette sounds good! I’ve only seen this a couple of times in Paris but if I see it again, I’ll try that.

      btw: When I was in Switzerland at the Vevey market, one vendor was selling it with a note that he guaranteed that it wasn’t “touched” by foxes or dogs. He used a word that I didn’t understand (because, as you know, there are some “French” words specific to Switzerland!) but it was funny. Enjoy the book and thanks!

    • Mimi

    I just came back from my Easter holidays in Montreux today (I live in Zurich). Reading your article makes me miss it even more. I will have to make your Bärlauch (that’s what we call it over here)- Pasta tonight to find comfort.

    Did you see the giant fork in Vevey? I love it! I think a spoon would have been even funnier though.

    • Lee

    Ramps, Ramsons, Wild Garlic, and now Bear’s Garlic? The world is a confusing place. Whatever it’s called, I enjoyed getting out at the weekend to pick some of these garlicky leaves from a nearby riverside. Twice as much wild garlic (that’s what I’m calling it!) as parsley blitzed with toasted sunflower seeds, oil and good parmesan makes a fine pesto. It would have been finer still with fresh instead of dried pasta, I must get the machine out once in a while. I like the look of whatever you’re drying it on there.

    • Paula

    What a lovely dish. One of the many things I love about spring is that it is Bärlauch season here in Switzerland. There is a great assortment of Bärlauch cheeses, pastas, breads and more available, all of which are delicious. In the past I always bought an abundance of Bärlauch for cooking with at home. not only is it wonderful tossed through pasta but it also makes a wonderful addition to salads and makes for very tasty soups and pestos, the latter of which I freeze for use through out the year. A couple of years ago I decided to plant some in my garden and I am happy to say it is now growing in abundance.

    • Katie

    There’s nothing better than fresh pasta and garlic! I like the wide cut pasta too.

    I saw strawberry fluff at Central Market recently and remembered you posting about it — I’d never seen it in American markets before or heard of it. Maybe the French import the food you see from America because of its long shelf life? They must be pure chemicals…. Yes too bad they don’t see the food changes here in the US.

    Funny, but I’ve been dying to have a fondue party too after a trip to Switzerland and have been researching fondue pots. It’s getting hot in south Texas now though so will have to wait until December.

    • Annabel Smyth

    I love ramsons. I don’t think we have ramps here. When I was in Austria a couple of years ago I had a fantastic ramsons soup, which I I tried to recreate the one and only time I scored a bunch of ramsons in our local farmers’ market – the Austrian soup didn’t have noodles in it, though. I don’t know how people gather them, though, since it is against the law to pick wild flowers here. I haven’t yet tried making this soup with spring onions instead, but it might work.

    Your pasta sounds lush – I have a lot of asparagus at the moment, as British asparagus has just come into our shops, and might try a version of that with asparagus….

    • Erin | The Law Student’s Wife

    I’m totally one of those frenzied farmers market customers who’s planning to throw elbows to get to the ramps. Watch out–I’ve got ramp pizza with pecorino on the brain, and my elbows are pointy!!
    I’ll also snag an extra bunch for this lovely pasta. I love that it lets the simple beauty of the ramp (or bear’s garlic) shine.

    • Lena

    Hi David,

    here in Germany wild garlic is quite common this time of the year, although here in the sourht season is almost over again.
    The vendor told you about his “untouched” wild garlic, because some people are afraid they get the fox tapeworm (which is really delivered by foxes through its excrements). But you will notice it only a year later, when the fox tapeworm has grown in your body. Sounds creepy, but I think some people just make a fuss about it, like about salmonellas in raw eggs.

    I cook a lot with wild garlic and I’ve already blogged a few recipes containing it, like bread dumplings with wild garlic, wild garlic and tomato tart, wild garlic raviol, wild garlic pesto and potato quiche with wild garlic,

    Enjoy you wild garlic, it’s awesome!

    • Katie

    I make a pasta that I found years ago in Craig Claiborne’s NYT cookbook that is garlic, butter, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper — very delicious and still one of my favorites. I have to try your updated “modern” version and love the fresh pappardelle.

    • Kate

    Ah but have you checked the ‘European aisle’ in American supermarkets..! here in Texas they definitely have the same problem! As an exiled Londoner was pretty excited about the possibility of proper bacon and marmite – but no – just really bizarre fish-and-chip flavoured crisps (chips) and some peculiar looking herbal tea.

    On the plus side living here has opened my eyes to the high end of american cuisine – Austin Tx is a glorious place to be a glutton!


      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I think most of what gets exported/imported, are things that keep for a long (long) time, which makes sense. (Although I’d never seen powdered cheesecake “mix” and think that’s one of those things that if you can’t get the real-deal, you should skip.) Other things play into nostalgia; I’ve been Bird’s custard mix and golden syrup in the US and some of this stuff for Americans is a fun indulgence. One Thanksgiving, I had to have the Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix – so someone brought some from the US. (And yes, Austin is a great food city..)

    • Angela

    The bank where I take my dogs for a walk is covered in wild garlic, (Gloucestershire, UK) I take a handful home each day. This looks like a great way of preparing this and I will definitely be trying it….

    • Linda

    Are you sharing the location of your my local market stand that sells odd root vegetables – like orange-colored beets, parsley roots, and watermelon radishes ??

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      She is at the Popincourt/Oberkampf market, which takes place Tuesday and Friday.

    • Natalie

    Hi David!

    Back from Paris (and now that I’ve returned, am looking into real estate there…), and just wanted to send my thanks for the lovely recommendations that you’ve made over the years! We had quite the wonderful stay (hats off to HiP) and all of the dining recs were spot on (still thinking about our meal at Le 6 Paul Bert). Many thanks.

    With cheers from NYC (as I polish off the last few salted caramels from Henri Le Roux),

    • Meg Bortin

    Hi David. Great post. Just wondering whether you might provide the address of your local Italian who sells ricotta salata. I discovered it in Sicily many years ago, but have never found it in Paris. Cheers, Meg

    • Liz

    No one seems to have mentioned the one danger with wild garlic, which is that the leaves are almost identical to those of lily of the valley except that those are toxic. That’s why some wait until the starry white flowers appear, just to be sure. Gorgeous stuff. I picked some in a French wood the other day and when I was leaving some locals got quite excited, thinking I’d found St George’s mushrooms, but I said no, wild garlic, and showed them my basket. They backed away in horror. It may be better known these days in Paris but Burgundy has not yet caught up. All the more for the crazy foreigners, of course.

    • marcie

    I just had the most wonderful risotto at a restaurant with ramps and the flavor was so delicious! I need to get my hands on some soon and make this pasta — it looks just wonderful.

    • Vicki B

    I saw a recipe yesterday on a blog for Ramp pizza and was completely puzzled. Now I get it and am sorry I didn’t get the recipe.

    • jacqui

    Bear’s garlic and wild leeks grow abundantly in the meadow next to my home. I always know when it’s ready to seek out under the meadow grass, when the odor floats through the north breeze while I’m hanging up the washing. It’ll be soon now…

    • Jeanne

    Well, David, disgusting as it may be after a lifetime spent in France, I do get homesick for American “goodies”. That supermarket counter looks like my kind of place. Do tell. Where is it??

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      That was at the BHV/Marais, in Paris.

    • Christina

    This post makes me remember the stories from my mother about when the cows got into the ramps every spring and the milk tasted of onions or garlic for weeks! lol! May have to see if such things grow in Colorado in the springtime.

    • Annie B

    David—you have made my days brighter. I received “My Paris Kitchen” for an Easter gift—-LUCKY LUCKY me! It is the BEST book ( not just a cook book) I have read in ages. The recipes are wonderful, easy, and the ingredients readily available here in the US. The wealth of information; aside from recipes, is most interesting. I feel like I have received a “personal” letter from a friend abroad. Some day we may meet…(in Paris, of course, ha-ha) My last trip to Paris was 2006–now I have an excuse to return.
    I have Googled you, wanting to learn more about you. What an interesting and fulfilling life you have had, so far. PLEASE do not stop writing and preparing such wonderful meals for all of us to share. Looking forward to your next Email.

    • Judi Suttles

    Thanks for this recipe. I ordered a pile of wild ramps by mail and now have no idea what to do with them. I made a compound butter with some but I will make this with remainder.

    • Nick

    Hi David,
    My German brother in law is a big fan of foraging, vegetables, fruit, fungi anything he can lay his hands on.
    A walk always becomes a gathering occasion. We aren’t allowed out unless we have knife – check! sacks – check! at least two rucksacks – check!
    Scampering up the side of vineyards collecting mache/lambs lettuce – in the depths of winter.
    Anytime it has rained, out into the woods for the fungi in season.
    One time we were circumnavigating the Kuehkopf, a big oxbow of the Rhine turned into a nature reserve (so no sprays) when behold a field of green. Que frantic picking, my sister reminding us its quicker to not get the crop dirty than to have to clean it up later,
    The rucksack full was taken home, washed and made into a pesto while I made the pasta.
    Having never had it before I was not expecting how hot it was. A little certainly goes a long way on something bland like pappadele. We had about a liter to get through.
    As to why its called bears garlic – well of course it makes you smell like one! For days.

    • Kiki

    Oh David; I was in Switzerland and only returned last week – I know and LOVE the
    wonderful, charming and excellent ‘Chalet-des-Enfants’…. Had a few festive get-togethers there (bookings are essential!). I also was overjoyed to find SO many ‘Baerlauch’ wild garlic produces including sausages, pasta, pesto, cold cuts (charcuterie) etc. I didn’t even realise that the French don’t know well about this herb…. So we’re on a mission: Introduce REAL risotto AND wild garlic. :)

    Thank you for the Paris Kitchen book; it arrived to the Swiss address and that’s why I couldn’t find it in my French letterbox – but now it’s safely here and I’m not getting my nose out of it – WONDERFUL

    There really is no danger to confuse wild garlic with lily of the valley; only the wild garlic smells VERY distinctively of … garlic! The leaves are much softer too, longer, and very regularly formed (as your photo shows beautifully). So go all and use it – it’s a short time only, once the flowers are out, the leaves are no longer good to eat.

    You’re a PRECIOUS person, sharing so generously your knowledge and your brilliant photos. Merci beaucoup!

    • suedoise

    All I want is to praise the gorgeous splendid wonderful book My Paris Kitchen.
    It is bound to become a great Paris classic. Mais oui. It catches the soul of Paris like no other book regardless of genre. It is utter sheer happiness. .
    Am in absolute awe of every page, adoring the meticulous care
    and great style always there in the well chosen lovely photos, the irresistible choice of recipes and above all that incomparable mind of David Lebovitz perfectly mastering the everyday fun of Paris. Here is the one book on Paris you will need.
    Believe me I have read plenty.
    Grand merci.

    • Marianne

    You cannot confuse lily-of-the-valley leaves with ramsons because of the pungent garlicky smell of the ramsons leaves. Ramsons is “ramslök” in Swedish and not yet in season over here. It’s the European variety of course, Allium ursinum, not the American ramps, A. tricoccum that I wouldn’t expect to find imported to Europe. Another wild spring leek we use for soups, pestos etc is A. scorodoprasum, sand leek in English. I grow this and other easy onion varieties, Chinese chives, ordinary chives, walking onions, Thermidrome garlics and échalotes.

    • Kim

    Lord have mercy…it looks out of this world.
    PS Reese’s Puffs all the way!

    • Catherine

    Thank you for another wonderful post!

    I haven’t seen a pasta rack like the one that you have. Could you please tell me what brand it is and where it could be purchased?

    I’m looking forward to your new book, which my daughter will be getting for me, during your book tour in San Francisco. (I’m in Canada.)


    • Donna Adams

    David, you received a wonderful review in the “Wall Street Journal” April 19th “Gastronomy” by Aram Bakshian Jr. I am buying your “Paris Kitchen” today!

    • Arthur in the Garden!


    • susan

    Hi David. The recipe you provided for honey almond squares is nothing short of spectacular. They were a great hit with family and friends, as dessert after Easter dinner accompanied by fresh strawberries. Can’t wait to try the “real thing” on my next visit to Paris. thanks.

    • stacy

    This recipe looks so incredible! Clicked over to your old post of strange foods in France and was just laughing so hard. I studied abroad in Paris two years ago and remember many of those…especially Harry’s bread which my American roommate ate religiously. Made me shake my head the whole semester.

    • Sharon

    Since moving to Germany, discovering wild edibles has been a real treat. Bärlauch (Bear garlic, and all of the other names as well) was an early find. I use in with eggs, making gnocchi, pasta, pesto, soup, salads. I’ve read it’s so loved because it’s one of the earliest fresh greens the locals can get after a winter of stored root veggies. Makes sense. Regardless, we love it and I make lots of pesto to take us into the summer. AND I forage – lots of it free and wild in the local parks.

    • Kristen

    Thanks for a great post! I’ve been wondering what l’ail des ours is in English since I first bought it in markets in the Haute Savoie. Now I’m in Alsace, and it’s all over the markets here too. Which makes sense, as it’s also all over the mountains and woods when you go walking. It may be rare in Parisian markets, but you’ll find it every spring elsewhere. And now I have something to use in the place of ramps when I make American recipes…

    • Allison

    I’ve not seen ramps at our local farmers market, bit I’ve got a big clump of Chinese chives in my garden, this pasta dish sounds like just the thing…think they would work?

    • Ellen

    Thank you this post. Just picked some fresh ramps in the Mts in North Carolina and they were fantastic with pasta! So simple but so good.

    • Gavrielle

    Ha, yes, we get exactly the same kind of American junk food in our homesick expats’ store Martha’s Backyard here in Auckland. It always amuses me that you can get US Coke there (with corn syrup), when in the US people talk about how much better Coke used to be with sugar – and our local NZ Coke has sugar not corn syrup! Still, there’s no arguing with the taste of home, I guess. I understand why it’s all the long-life boxed stuff, but I do heave a wistful sigh now and then that instead it’s not stocked with the amazing empanadas from the SF Ferry Building farmer’s market…

    • clara

    mr. david!

    this make me want to try my hand at making egg noodles at home. i’m close to asian markets but i prefer learning how to make my own since i use massive amounts for steamykitchen’s garlic butter noodles. also, where could i get that pasta rack that you have?
    will definitely go to your sf book signing :)

    • Helen @ the crispy crouton

    I love your recipe – so simple! Where I live in northern England the wild garlic is literally growing wild at the minute – I think we have just the right conditions for it. I picked some at the weekend and made wild garlic pesto by replacing the usual basil leaves with wild garlic. So easy and really delicious.

    • Jeff Butryn

    I got your new cookbook from my wife in my Easter basket on Sunday. Last night I made the mustard chicken. It was incredible. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers and to pick my next recipe to make. Also, the Paris pix take me back to our vacations there.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Meg: The place I get it doesn’t really sell it to the public but they carry it at RAP as well as the Italian épicerie in the covered market at the Marche d’Aligre.

    clara & catherine: It’s this one. I got it because it came (at the time) with the pasta making attachment for my stand mixer.

    Gavrielle: That is kind of funny, isn’t it? My local health food stores in Paris sell corn syrup, in little jars, along with rice syrup and other alternative sweeteners.

    Jeff (and Suzy): So glad you liked the recipe and the book. Thanks!

    stacy: I don’t quite understand that appeal of Harry’s white bread in France (according to their website, 2/3rd of households in France have a Harry’s bread product in their house) – It’s kind of unimaginable in the land of great bread that anyone would eat white packaged bread, but c’est comme ça, I suppose…

    Allison: Chinese chives are usually a lot milder than wild garlic or ramps, so you could use them, but you may need a bunch more.

      • Meg Bortin

      David, great! Many thanks. I will check out both of those places. By the way, I forwarded your post to a friend in England who goes hunting for wild garlic every year in a forest near her place (in Kent). I’m sure she’ll try your recipe! Best, Meg

    • Shinee

    Very interesting post! Ramps are wildly popular is Mongolia. We make deep-fried ramp dumplings a lot. Also you can marinate them to use throughout winter. Your pasta looks amazing too! (I’m originally from Mongolia, and I’ve been in the US for over 8 years now. But I never saw ramps here.)

    • JudyMac

    My, how times have changed. When I was growing up, and where I grew up, kids who came to school after having eaten raw wild ramps were usually sent home because the other kids could not abide the odor which floated about them. I understand the fragrance is somewhat abated when they are cooked, but while I do like garlic and onions, ramps are definitely not my cup of tea. Meanwhile, that same area is being inundated with Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and in our current economy, the mountain kids still cannot afford to shop there I’m sure. Fluff? Never heard of it until you mentioned it.

    • dee

    Hi David, thanks for that post (and thanks for ur blog). I don’t know if it’s the same but in Paris Store (chinatown) u can get garlic chives. they look the same as in ur pictures minus the leaves. It’s probably chinese garlic chives but I always thought that the chinese ones had flat leaves and no bulb (Do I make any sens?)
    And to answer to the Harry’s white bread question, the first time I had a sandwich it was made with the Harry’s white bread . To most of the french people who grew up in the 80’s, harry’s pain de mie is the reference. I stil l buy it from time to time out of habit. it was very american (sandwich) and popular.

    • dee

    At home you ate baguette and when you went out (picnic or else) you used pain de mie to make sandwiches. I think it was in the kitchen shelves for that purpose because we never ate it at home. and Harry’s was the marque de pain de mie available.
    And David, the banh mi at Belleville (Saigon banh mi) are still very good.

    • Steve Martin

    I’m hopeless.

    If I lived in Paris I’m quite sure I would seek out, if not gravitate to the American aisle.

    Even here I cannot help but get the easiest, fastest frozen foods available. And if there’s vegetables in it, my wife won’t eat it. (although I did purchase and consume a ready-made salad last week. I try to eat some greenery at least once a month)

    But I do enjoy reading about and looking at the beautiful photos of delicious and healthy foods that many people in this world actually do eat.

    • Erren

    I know what you mean about American food in European supermarkets. I live in England and the only American foods I too only ever see Lucky Charms, Fluff and other God awful, processed to an inch of it’s life foods. It’s almost as if it gives Europeans license to call us fat and believe it’s all we ever eat! After ten years of living here, I have never bought a thing from those isles at the Supermarkets (with the exception of pancake syrup) because it’s far from what I’d buy at home.
    I so miss Italian grocery stores with all the deli meats and cheeses, the beautiful fresh baked breads from my local bakery and there’s a farmer’s market near my hometown that had beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables. That said, I miss them because they can’t be imported – if only!

    • Helen in CA

    Being in Northern CA, we don’t get ramps. But we do get green garlic, meaning young garlic. Thoughts for cooking w/ green garlic?

    • Jennifer

    Can’t wait to see you in Santa Monica!!

    Ramp-talk aside, as delicious as they sound…..Loving your picture of the American-goodie isle. Are my eyes deceiving me, or are those great big bottles of Tabasco sauce?? How much Tabasco sauce does one need?? I know my tiny bottles last forever.

    • Colleen

    Fluff is originally from Somerville, MA (home of Taza Chocolate) and is traditionally used to make a fluffernutter sandwich — peanut butter and fluff on white bread. It was banned in schools many years ago for being too candy like for lunch, but it does have less sugar than jam. There was eventually a reconciliation between the makers of fluff and the school committee so now there is a fluff festival every year in Somerville in September. (No, I am not making this up. I am not that creative.).

    I was not a peanut butter fan as a child so there were no fluffernutters for me, but I remeber putting it in hot chocolate instead of marshmallows and using it to make fudge. I am sure that the recipe is still on the back of the container. It is a good,non-fussy, non-candy thermometer requiring recipe which is great for kids, and I remember it being pretty good (but that may be nostalgia).

    • Georgette Nichols

    This is so off the subject at hand (and I love ramp soup) but I have no other way of letting you know this. The other night we needed to thank a young couple for a great deal of help they gave us over the last few weeks dismantling an apartment in Paris. We took them, on your recommendation, to Lapérouse. What a beautiful restaurant. And the food was wonderful. My husband was worried that it might turn out to be a has-been but this was not at all true. So worth the experience. Thanks!

    • thefolia

    I will look out for these beauties at my local market–Viva la farmer’s market!

    • Jelli

    I know exactly what you mean, David, about what crazy things foreigners think we Americans eat. I live in Costa Rica & recently our school where I worked did a fair, each classroom taking on a country. The US food table included doughnuts, cookies, pumpkin pie, burgers, and other junk foods. It almost made me sick to think that that was what the teachers honestly thought we ate.

    • Marito alla Parmigiana

    I cannot believe but the day after I red your post I received a delivery of WILD GARLIC!
    And I am totally in love with it!

    • Daisy Bun | Full-thyme Student

    Hi David,
    First off, I love your blog. I started following you two years ago after I studied abroad in Paris and tried to find a way to relive my Parisian experience. I’m now in Paris again and your posts have even more meaning to me.

    That picture of the America food aisle is hilarious!! Did you take that at Le BHV Mariais? I saw that a few weeks ago and was so horrified. I’m starting to blog about my experiences in Paris, and your blog is a great motivator. Thank you so much :)

    Daisy Bun | Full-thyme Student

    • Sofia

    As far as I know it is prohibited in the Netherlands to pick them in the wild. So, that must be the reason you won’t find it in a market. But well..we eat it anyway.


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