Useful words on Food Packaging in France
If you have a food allergy/intolerance or wish to avoid certain foods it can be difficult when shopping in a foreign country. In France many food related words are quite similar if not even identical to English eg végétarien/gluten but others are very different. You may therefore find this list useful.
French Food Labels
Without/free from - Sans, so gluten free = sans gluten
Vegan - végétalien
Nuts - noix/noisettes
Peanuts - cacahuètes
Walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, pecans and pistachios - noix, noix du Brésil, amandes, noix de pécan et pistaches
Shellfish - fruits de mer
Fish - poisson
Mussels - moules
Wheat - blé
Soya - soja
Salt - sel
Eggs - oeufs
Milk - lait
Dairy - produits laitiers
Alcohol - alcool
Organic - Agriculture biologique/AB and BIO
Without additives - sans additifs
Without flavourings - sans arômes
Palm oil - huile de palme
Average Nutritional Information - Valeurs nutritionells moyennes
Energy - Energie
Fat - Matières grasses
Saturated fat - (dont acides) matières grasses
Carbohydrates - Glucides
Sugar - (dont) sucres
Fibre - Fibre
Protein - Protéines
In some supermarkets there are aisles specifically for certain foods such as organic, gluten-free but not all so you may have to do a lot of label reading.
For those of you who are vegetarian do be aware that the idea of vegetarianism seems odd to many French who think that all vegetarians will happily eat fish or simply remove a bit of meat from their meal. Do carefully read all the ingredients if you want vegetarian food and in restaurants be very specific that you don't want meat or fish anywhere near your plate.
If you have a real hankering for food from certain countries most larger supermarkets have an international section ... this is some of what our local supermarket in Condé-sur-Noireau has on their English aisle:
A final note on tea
As a nation the French have not really got to grips with how to make a decent cup of tea. The do sell plenty of tea bags but even those called "English Breakfast Tea" or suchlike will not be the same strength as what you might expect from an English brand. If you like your tea strong I suggest you either bring your own supply or head straight to the English section.
I hope you find this list useful and if there are any other important words you think I may have missed please do leave a comment and I will add them.