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I posted on here a month ago and desperately looking for English people in the Pauillac, Medoc region!! Are there any Brits here???

Also, am struggling to find vegetarian food!!! Found organic shop in Bordeaux that sells tofu but can anyone recommend anything?! Do you know of anywhere I can buy Quorn locally?!? It's popular in UK - otherwise have to wait to visit London!!!

Surely I can't be the only veggie in France?!?

Please help!

Thanks :fingerscrossed:
 

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Hi,

We will shortly be moving to near Libourne, so won't be miles away.

As for vegetarian food, afraid I can't help, but fully acknowledge that the French really don't go in for it in a big way. Having said that, the wealth of fantastic produce in green grocers and such must mean the fresh food options must be fantastic? I assume you are talking of things like Quorn instead? I would have thought it must be findable in the bigger Auchans or Carrefours.

Ian
 

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It may seem hard, but perhaps you should consider...

1 .Learning French to a level where you can make friends easily with French people.

2. Recognise that on a global basis vegetarianism is a minority sport. France is deeply entrenched in its meat eating customs. You are swimming against the tide! (except perhaps in big cities? To my knowledge there was ONE veggy resto in Rouen several years ago, but it closed after a year)

If this seems blunt to you, I'm sorry. I am trying to be helpful.

DejW
 

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Hi

I'm afraid its not in the norm to be a veggie in France. There is usually a vegetarian corner in organic stores. But be prepared to cook most everything from scratch.
Good luck with everything!

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Out of well over 100 French people that I have tutored, I have recently encountered my first veggie (I know this because one of the standard conversation lessons is about food!). She mentioned tofu but she didn't mention quorn. She's a very feisty lady and I got the impression that one of the reasons she is a veggie is that she actually loves buying and cooking vegetables and experimenting with recipes - and, I suspect, standing out from the crowd. I think if you want to be a veggie in France, you need to be very motivated and you have to take the initiative - it isn't 'on sale' as a prepackaged lifestyle.

Have to say I don't understand quorn and I suspect the French wouldn't either - if you don't want to eat meat, why would you want to eat something synthetic that looks like meat?
 

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What made you choose that particular part of France if you don't speak the language? Unfortunately (or not) there aren't English speakers in all parts of France - or sometimes the few that there are prefer to lay low and try to "pass" for locals.

And, as you have been told, vegetarianism is definitely a few standard deviations outside the norm here in France. If you want to avoid meat, you're going to have to make things from scratch and not rely on processed meat substitutes. (Come to think of it I don't believe I've seen any in the 20 years or so I've spent here in France.)

Not sure what larger towns you're close to, but most of the larger chains (like Carrefour, Auchan, U and InterMarché) seem to have bio sections that stock at least the grain-based types of meat substitutes or the components from which you can make your own. I've made seitan, which is lots of work (probably good for you, though, given all the exercise you get making it) but it makes a decent meat substitute. Or, find a copy of the old classic Diet for a Small Planet and read up on combining vegetable products to provide adequate protein in your diet.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Have to say I don't understand quorn and I suspect the French wouldn't either - if you don't want to eat meat, why would you want to eat something synthetic that looks like meat?
People are vegetarian for different reasons, and a dislike of the taste or appearance of meat is not usually the reason. So if you can't or don't eat meat for whatever reason, but you do enjoy the taste, why not try to find a decent substitute?

As for not speaking the language, the OP will definitely need to learn French to a level that will allow her to make friends with locals, but that takes some time, and it can be pretty lonely in the meantime! I don't see anything wrong with trying, at least at first, to find other British people to make friends with and help with the transition process. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like that region is particularly popular with other anglos, though.
 

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I must admit that I have a tendency to "demi veggy'. I used to like big steaks bigger than the plate, but now I tend to keep to white meats. For me that's a matter of personal taste, with no ethical aspects at all.

I'm all for personal freedom - eat what you want etc. However, many other threads here make the point that if you change countries you are obliged / legally required to conform to local standards and ethics. Just to stoke the debate a bit

***Women wearing sleeveless dresses is not a good idea in some countries. ...And before anyone gets onto the unwarranted Islamic debate, sleeveless dresses in W Europe were not acceptable for day wear up to 100 years ago.

***US citizens, with their Constitutional right to bear arms, cannot do so in most other civilised countries - and please don't start the debate as to whether the US is civilised or not!

***There are some countries where to be openly gay is dangerous for your health and certainly your career.

***Most French supermarkets do not sell anything that the English would regards as "tea". I've taught Chinese and Indian student who in turn do not regard English tea as "tea" at all.

***The definition of freedom of speech is widely variable. I think there are differences in the legal interpretation between France and the UK?

So, if you chose to live in a country other than your own by birth, chose one that has laws / ethics/ culture etc that are acceptable to you.

DejW
 

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There is a veggie brand called Sojasun who makes really good (IMHO) veggie burger patties and they also make a 'fake' beef for sauces. I have found tofu in the asian supermarkets in Paris which is fresh and not the horrible stuff on the shelves (not mentioning any names of the company but if that is the only tofu people have tried no wonder they don't like it). Also there is a website for national veggie/vegan friendly restos (pm me for the links).

It can be done, but remember when going out that most restos will not accommodate any 'special requests' so be prepared for many salads and pasta with tomato sauce.
 

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People are vegetarian for different reasons, and a dislike of the taste or appearance of meat is not usually the reason. So if you can't or don't eat meat for whatever reason, but you do enjoy the taste, why not try to find a decent substitute?
I'll admit my ignorance and insensitivity, but to me - if you like the taste of beef, man up and look a cow in the eyes and say 'I'm going to eat you'.

If you can't do that, or you firmly believe that cows are not for eating, renounce the taste of beef; in a society where people do not eat cows (which presumably is your ideal), beef is not an option.

It seems like cheating to me to disapprove of eating cows but to carry on eating stuff that looks and tastes like beef. Like having your beef and eating it, so to speak.

OK I'll go hide now :behindsofa: and wait for somebody to whip a little enlightenment into me.
 

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I have to admit I agree with EuroTrash on this. I had a friend back in the States who was very hard core vegetarian, but relied heavily on the various meat substitutes, in the form of sausages and whatever else. (All different brand names over there.) Didn't quite seem right to me, though I kind of excused it based on the fact that her husband wasn't vegetarian and it was a way to prepare meals so that he would eat the same thing.

But vegetarian cooking is perfectly good without those meat substitute things (IMO anyhow). And there are the different degrees of being "veggie" - vegan or not, some folks will eat fish and/or other seafood, ovo-lacto vegetarians, etc.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If you can't do that, or you firmly believe that cows are not for eating, renounce the taste of beef; in a society where people do not eat cows (which presumably is your ideal), beef is not an option.

It seems like cheating to me to disapprove of eating cows but to carry on eating stuff that looks and tastes like beef. Like having your beef and eating it, so to speak.
Who is getting cheated? No cows are getting harmed, and vegetarians still get to enjoy tasty meals. I'd call it fortunate for all involved, not cheating!
 

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I don't think the replies to date have helped much with the more important problem - finding someone to talk to in English. It would be surprising if you didn't hear any English voices at markets in nearby towns + villages.

Websites for towns + villages will also have info about clubs + societies.

Ask at the local town halls if anyone staff speak English and can help you.

Ask your local baker if they have any other English-speaking customers.

Type a common English surname into the online phone directory. I tried and got a Monique Brown 5 miles from you. Try this link

PagesBlanches : Annuaire des particuliers

Put an ad in leboncoin to ask for an English-speaking French tutor.

And simply try asking a French person if they speak any English - sitting next to you at a café. Come up with some problem - you might be pleasantly surprised. French people as demonised by The Sun and the Daily Mail are few and far between.
 

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Substitutes to Italian meats such as prosciutto and mortadella can be found in organic stores such as la vie claire.
Seitan and chicken substitutes at la vie Claire again, biocoop or satoriz. I don't know what's available in the pauillac area.

To find English speaking people, Anglo info has local sections. Also many areas have a local newspaper in English, we have many here, which reflects our very large expats community.
In my village, there is an English book shop, maybe you could google if such a thing exists in your area.
Did you just google "English speaking group pauillac?
If I remember well, you moved in the area to be with your boyfriend, hope you are getting some support from him!

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Being a vegetarian, (I'm not one but have friends who are) in Aquitaine will be difficult. Duck and ham rule. Even innocent sounding dishes such as mushroom soup in a restaurant are likely to be based on ham stock. So be warned.
That said I've noticed the bigger supermarkets have expanded their organic/bio ranges in just the last 2 years and I'm sure I've noticed some veggie type sausages in their freezer sections occasionally.

Also I have yet to see an English ex-pat newspaper, as suggested by others, for any part of Aquitaine except Dordogne. Certainly not south of the Gironde estuary. Pauillac, if I remember rightly is not a big village, and genuinely may not have more than a few Brits, and even fewer in the right age group. My village, in the Lot et Garonne only has 3 British couples, 1 of whom we have yet to meet and the others we see but once a year. However Bordeaux has lots of English speakers, some of whom may be homesick or looking to try to improve their language skills. If you are mobile and can get there you might find a friend or two.
 

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I will probably be no help on the vegetarian options or how to meet English speakers, but you are in one of the areas I was considering might be nice to look for a property.

How do you find it, and how long have you been there? ie have you had a winter, if so what was the weather like etc.

Any thoughts from you on what it is like to live there would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry to say I am a confirmed meat eater at present, though often when the produce from the garden was particularly delicious - asparagus or fresh sweetcorn time, or those first new potatoes and peas - I have thought I could easily become vegetarian :)
 

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You may want to go to Pauillac before you dream too much about the area. It is a village with one activity Wine. Everything there revolves around wine and believe me there is nothing romantic about wine.
Helen had her reasons to pick the area but it is a very tough area for a foreigner who does not speak the language and not easy for a French person who is not involved in the business to integrate.
I have a friend who was in the wine business , spoke perfect French, knew many of the Chateau owners having worked with them in the States, she is British and went there to study to be a master sommelier and had a very difficult time and left pretty quickly. The place is death if you are not working so I am not surprised Helen is desperate to find someone who speaks English.

I do not know if there are many vegeterians in France, one of my niece is a vegan but she is the only one I know and she lives in Lyons. In a village famous for lamb you are not going to find a whole lot of vegetarians. You may want to go to Bordeaux and ask around but I would not have a whole lot of hopes to find many vegeterians in that area.

Another dream, they do not grow asperagus there t is not what Pauillac is about, everything is devoted to vines not asperagus that do not complement red wine. If you want great asperagus go to Montlouis , Vouvray in the Loire Valley in May and early june and you will be in heaven. There they have asperagus , vines (white wines ) and fruit trees. The subsoil is chalk , the soil is sandy ,drains quicly and they have great white asperagus.


I
 

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Hi - sorry - I was meaning when I have the first asparagus and new seasons vegetables from my own garden here I often think I could become a vegetarian - though never have :)

The area I was considering was to the east across the water. Would you think that would be an area with any attractions for potential UK tourist lettings.

I was thinking it was far enough south to get reasonable weather in the summer letting season, and near enough for those interested in wine to take tours of the vineyards, plus have some reasonable coast line for seaside visits or sightseeing along the coast.

The airports are not too far away and places like Talmot sur Gironde and maybe others along the coast line could be good spots for tourists?

#####

And I could always take a trip to the asparagus fields when I have let the house off to holidaymakers :)
 

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If you ever head south towards Bayonne/Biarritz the Bio stores here have quite a large vegetarian selection. I have not seen Quorn (which we also have in the US), but I was not looking/have not noticed much of a frozen food section in any of the stores. However, I have seen a lot of meat substitutes in the refrigerated section. In Anglet there is a store called Grain de Soleil that has a lot of vegetarian options and another store that is a big Bio Co-op. In Bayonne there are half a dozen smaller bio stores and there is La Chayonte a vegetarian Bio restaurant.

There are other restaurants in the area that have vegetarian and even vegan options, so it might just be that you have not yet found them where you are located. I'd keep looking! As for Brits, it seems they are a dime a dozen in this area as well, which is perhaps why there are so many vegetarian options in the stores this way!

Trip Advisor in general is often a good resource:

Vegetarian in Bordeaux
 
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