The 5 Best Prefab Desserts at the French Supermarket

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The 5 Best Prefab Desserts at the French Supermarket

Hello. My name is Wini, and I love factory-made French supermarket desserts.

There. I’ve said it.

Indeed, it’s nothing to be proud of, especially since I’m the author of a French cookbook and someone, who, in general, eschews industrial prefab food.

Still, I can’t help it: I get the biggest kick out of French supermarket desserts. No, they’re not as good as what you can make yourself at home; no, I’d never serve them to guests. And certainly, they’re nothing compared to what you can get at a French pâtisserie.

But they are so much more ambitious than any U.S. supermarket desserts (drab, sickly-sweet puddings come to mind), that I gleefully partake in some every time I stay in my go-to vacation rental in the South of France.

After 20 years of spending long stretches of the summer in France, I’ve come up with a list of five of my favorite French supermarket desserts. All are available from Carrefour, which has 960 supermarkets and 3,600-plus convenience stores in France.

Try some—even if you’re not staying in an apartment, many are great picnic choices—and let me know what you think. Better yet, if I’ve missed a favorite (and you’re willing to admit that you sometimes indulge in supermarket desserts), let me know in the comments section. And thanks for the leads.

P.S. Most are under 2€ per serving.

Tartelette au Citron

Tartelette au Citron

Carrefour Tartelette au Citron de Sicilie

This lemon tartlet is amazing! The crisp shortbread-like base has a buttery-brown sugar flavor. Above that comes two layers of pure lemony refreshment: The first is kind of like a creamy cheesecake (though not as heavy) and the top layer is more like a lemon curd.

Some may find these a little too tart for their tastes, but I love their zingy appeal after a somewhat heavy, meaty meal.

Pot de Crème au Caramel

Pot de Crème au Caramel

Nestlé La Laitière Petit Pot de Crème de Caramel

If someone told me I had to give up chocolate for the rest of my life, I’d be sad, but not inconsolable. Caramel, however, is another matter.

This dessert is a boon to bona fide caramel lovers. It’s rich, sweet, milky, and rife with intense caramel flavor. As a bonus, it comes in charming glass pots, which I save and use as mis-en-place dishes when cooking. And at 2 € 26 for four pots, they can’t be beat.

Carrefour Panna Cotta

Carrefour Panna Cotta

Carrefour Panna Cotta Coulis de Framboise

Panna cotta—that Italian-born eggless custard—does this neat trick that few desserts can do: It tastes indulgent, yet it doesn’t weigh you down. I love this one for the way the bright-berry zest of the raspberry coulis beautifully contrasts the intense creamy-vanilla flavor of the custard itself.

Fromage Blanc

Fromage Blanc

Danone Gervita Fromage Blanc Nature Sous Mousse Fouettée (aka: Fromage Blanc with Whipped Cream)

Fromage Blanc is a cream cheese with the soft consistency of sour cream or Greek yogurt. When sweetened with a little sugar, it’s a tangy and refreshing dessert that’s very popular in France.

This version goes a step further, with a little whipped cream on the top. Drizzle it with honey and, if you’re feeling splashy, sprinkle it with toasted pine nuts, and you’ll have a dessert akin to Mel y Mató, a popular Catalan dessert.

Carrefour Mousse au Chocolat

Carrefour Mousse au Chocolat

Carrefour Mousse au Chocolate

I know I said I’d never serve these prefab desserts to guests, but if there were a way to get this mousse out of their unattractive plastic containers and into a pretty glass dish—without deflating the mousse—I just might try to sneak this one onto my table.

Alas, the less-than-gracious packaging is about the only thing I don’t like about this chocolate mousse: It’s super light in texture, but massive in dark chocolate flavor, meaning that it’s the quintessential dark-chocolate mousse. I also appreciate the sane serving size: It’s just enough to make you feel indulged, but not so much that you need to lay on the clic-clac and groan.

Lead photo credit : French supermarket shelf stocked with tempting desserts

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Wini Moranville is the author of The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day. She divides her time between amerique profonde, where she works as a food writer and editor, and Collioure, France, where she goes to get re-inspired.

Comments

  • Parisbreakfast
    2015-08-11 20:03:29
    Parisbreakfast
    I can now say I've tasted everyone of these! The Carrefour citron tarte is the best I've tasted, maybe ever. And I've tried all the top Paris versions. Maybe it's the crunchy crust that's such a winner, but it's also Very tart in a most delicious way. Hard to tract down in Paris btw. Word is out evidently. Thank you Wini!

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