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Herbes d' Provence

ratatosk Nov 16, 2003 07:38 PM

Good Morning.

So, this past weekend I was called upon to cook a risotto at a friend's apartment. Knowing there was no "herbes" to be had there, and wanting to infuse them into some chicken broth, I stopped at the first store between the subway and the apartment, Dean and Delucca, and purchased a jar.

They were, frankly, terrible.

I can't imagine how it is possible to screw up something so ancient and delicious so badly, but I am now filled with trepidation at the thought of purchasing more bad herbes d' provence. I have taken to wearing dark sunglasses, ducking into random doors and doubling back on my path to avoid being tailed, and carrying a weapon, and if I don't confront this demon soon I fear that I may hurt someone.

So please, someone, anyone, tell me where I can find some GOOD Herbes de Provence before it is too late.


Good Night.

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  1. t
    The Condor RE: ratatosk Nov 17, 2003 07:15 AM

    The problem with buying dried herbs is they sit on the supermarket shelf for a decade before you purchase them and they are tasteless and overpriced. I get my herbs by mail order from a place called Pendery's. They seem to have a high turnover and the herbs are fresh and flavorful. The internet site bites. Use it only to order the free mail order catalog.

    Link: http://www.penderys.com

    1. p
      Pantagruel RE: ratatosk Nov 17, 2003 11:01 AM

      Why not go to a store that has bunches of fresh herbs, buy some that qualify as de provence, and mix them yourself?

      1. s
        shrimpbird RE: ratatosk Nov 17, 2003 01:22 PM

        The only kind I have ever used is Penzey's. I think it's wonderful, but again, it's the only kind I have tried. It smells divine too.

        1. b
          bob192 RE: ratatosk Nov 18, 2003 12:46 PM

          Interesting. The last can I bought as D & D is just about gone, but, particularly when fresh, and with a relatively handed application, made a nice roast chicken that wasn't too far off from one at the Hotel des Alps in Vence, above Nice.

          1. cgfan RE: ratatosk Aug 19, 2006 07:20 PM

            On numerous occaisions I've received as gifts dried herbs from France, and for me they are definitely superior. I imagine it has to do with the slow drying as well as the correct timing of the harvest when the oils are at their peak. Just a very quick toast on a dry skillet and they're ready to use...

            I've since brought back a large selection of dried herbs from Fauchon on my last trip to Paris, though I'm sure there are much more cost-effective places to buy dried herbs there...

            (I receive the Penzy's catalog too, but their concentration on spice mixes which predominates the catalog has so far scared me away from ordering their basic herbs... Perhaps I'm being too cautious!)

            1. virago7 RE: ratatosk Aug 21, 2006 02:47 PM

              I've had good luck with Fairways' dried herbs/spices. Whole Foods isn't bad either.

              1. f
                fara RE: ratatosk Aug 22, 2006 01:49 AM

                whole foods sells herbes de provence in a small burlap bag. pretty good.

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