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Foodie Souveniers from Paris

DH is traeling to Paris in a couple of days and I need to know what he should bring home.

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  1. Maybe a loaf or two of pain d'epice - the traditional dense gingerbread loaf that is so unctuous and wonderful served hot with custard but also has some interesting savoury uses - for example as thickener in stews like the Flemish carbonade - see Chocolate & Zucchini recipe here: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archi...

    Also, jars of fond de veau are easily and relatively cheaply available. A touch improves almost all savoury dishes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: frenetica

      My favorite things to bring home, for both myself and for friends are the varied Fleur de Sels.
      I have been able to find some interesting varieties in unlikely places, such as wine shops.

    2. Laduree Marcaroons - wonderful - especially if he can pick them up just before he leaves:


      If you hit "next" at the bottom right of the photo, you can click through the flavors ... I'm already in pain ... can I stop at Fauchon on the way home for a substitute.

      Edit - and the rue Royale location is preferable, IMHO, to the Champs Elysee one - not that the macaroons would be any different.

      1. Leopold Gourmel cognac (particularly the age des epices.) We bought three bottles at Fauchon and regularly gnash our teeth over the fact we didn’t buy more!

        I also found some really charming small glass olive oil containers there, which I used for making infusions. They were so pretty I could bring them right to the table.

        1. there is a lot of relly cool food equipment, including knives and gadgets that you can ́t find anywhere else at Delherrain near the old Les Halles...lots of copper and it ́s hard place to leave...I always pick up a couple of their house paring knives for gifts...

          1. those terrific little dark-chocolate-covered orange-peel thingies from dalloyau, whose macaroons are right up there with laduree's. and of course a pot or two of foie gras, mi cuit, customs permitting.

            1. Christine Ferber jam if you can find it and wonderful macarons from Pierre Herme, although he will probably eat them all before getting home. I always go to Bon Marche for Fleur de Sel and Sel Gris. You can find other neat stuff there. He should get himself some food for the plane. I usuall get some rolls, Iberican Ham and Brie de Meaux and a small wine or beer. Now a days no liquid in carry on so you have to buy from Airlines or duty free.

              1. I always bring back chocolate bars from Hevin. For more exotic, go to Goumanyat (have a web site too)-for very hard to find pepper and spices - makes great gifts. This time of year the marron glacee are coming out at all the candy/chocolate shops. Also macaroons from Herme can last a few days...

                1. I always pick up tins of pate and foie gras from Ducs de Gascogne on the rue St. Antoine, and chocolates from the nearby chocolatier.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pilaf

                    Us too! And if you don't want to bring it home with you, they can ship it! It will probably be home before you!!!

                  2. We bring the crock back to be refilled at Maille at the Madeleine Metro stop. We also pick up some of the other varieties of mustard. I am concerned because they said at the shop not to pack the crock in your checked luggage. I hope I can bring it on my carry on.
                    We also go to G Detou and get dried cepes and other wild mushrooms.
                    My husband is an Armagnac afficiando so we pick up a bottle from various places: the wine shop in Marche St Germain, Helene Darozze or maybe we will splurge next time and buy one of the '80s from Lavinia.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                      weird. this is one of the best threads ever. re AGM's comment on Maille, oddly enough. we'll be en ville in a couple of weeks, and my dear sweet niece asked--bring back the moutard aux noix from Maille. she's addicted, so we shall. and there used to be (longish ago) a terrific armagnac, etc., purveyer in a little courtyard off rue royale across from maxim's. anybody know of it? and bring me a couple of bottles of marc de bourgogne or de gewurztraminer from that chap.

                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                        Do not bring mustard in your carry on. I just had two jars of violet mustard from Brive cruelly torn from my hands by the security people at CDG. And this was AFTER I checked by phone with Air France and was given the go ahead.

                        1. re: erica

                          I feel your pain and appreciate your sharing with me. Violet mustard-what do you use it for? I guess I will leave the crocks home and just buy the jars. It is so much fun watching them pump the mustard into the crocks though.

                          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                            AGM, I have neveer used it! I read an article about it a few years back..it is flavored with grape must, I believe, and is a specialty of the Brive area in Lot/Dordogne. I found it in Paris at a great food shop on Rue Etienne Marcel. Called AF the night before my flight and was assured I could bring it since it was not liquid... Forget it! Very annoying security people...I showed them it was food, even ate some...no luck!!! I did find it at Zingerman's and ordered two jars...will try out dressings and marinades...very pretty dark violet color. I believe it is also a specialty of Burgundy and is being brought back to production after many years.....

                            1. re: erica

                              BTW, they took the violet mustard but did not look in the rest of the carry on so did not take the black cherry confiture and mustard with piment d'Espelette that I had purchased in the Pays Basque. Very spotty checking at the gate at CDG...the violet mustard was kind of on the top of the stuff in the bag.....kept saying mustard was a liquid....ridiculous!!!

                        2. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                          I second this. I found this thread because I'm trying in vain to find a crock online because I didn't have the forethought to buy one while there and Dijon is certainly a most memorable city.

                        3. Absolutely the macaroons from Laduree. This fall they have licorice — it's black! — and it's sweet and kind of peppery and amazing. Of course, the caramel is a long-standing favorite ... in addition to rue Royale and the Champs Elysee, there's also one in the 6th, which is sometimes less crowded than the other two.

                          1. I strongly second the Ch. Ferber jam! We rationed the orange marmalade very carefully! Also agree with moutarde violette - impossible to get anywhere but Maile in France. Disappointed to hear about it being taken at CDG...we'll pack our in the suitcase just in case.

                            I would also suggest a stop at Dehillerin. I always like to bring home of the foodie-prep gear too! I have dreams of building a collection of copper pots/pans.

                            1. Have him get an assortment of macarons from both Herme and Laduree...then do a taste test together when he gets home. (I did this on the flight back to the states...it's very fun!)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: wyf4lyf

                                So - who won the taste test? Have not had the Herme ones, but was in heaven eating the Laduree macarons...

                                1. re: wyf4lyf

                                  I totally second this suggestion. The macarons from Laduree are from heaven!

                                2. Cheap, effective, and packable: the large cans of four cuisses de canard confit ("Confit de Canard du Sud-Ouest"), 8 euros at Franprix. The duck fat is an invaluable cooking ingredient (see Paula Wolfert's bean soup) long after the cuisses have been consumed.
                                  More expensive: basil and lemon flavored olive oils - they come in cans, and cost about 15 euro apiece. However, I imagine this will soon be available in the US if it is not already. Duck fat, on the other hand, remains exotic.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Amanita

                                    Duck fat is exotic? We can get it at the local Key Food here in Brooklyn. Granted its from D'Artanain (sp?) but always available.

                                  2. Those washcloths that are two sewn together so they are like a glove..with a little fabric loop for hanging. Called "bath gloves."

                                    We have flavored oils in the US. But those cans of confit, will be on my list for next trip!

                                    Alizari olive oil from the south, in a can, is something I wish I had brought home, given the prices charged in the US.

                                    Fois gras, in glass jars if possible. Otherwise in cans.

                                    1. I am going to Paris next month and am looking for advice on how to bring home oils, mustards, jams, cognac, etc, given the new restrictions on carry-ons and liquids. Anyone know of ways to pack stuff so that it won't get broken in luggage that's checked through? Please advise!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: msfoob

                                        I bring bubble wrap from home. I also bought a cardboard packing tube from a paperie (sp?) and cut it in three pieces. I put two wine bottles and a bottle of olive oil in the pieces of tubing and packed them. Do not bring things like mustard or confiture in carry ons or you will risk having it taken away, as I did. Wrap them in bubble wrap and again in clothing and pack in suitcase.

                                        1. re: msfoob

                                          Wrap everything in your laundry and put in a plastic bag (hotel laundry bag, grocery bag, etc.) in center of suitcase!

                                        2. tea from mariage freres. if you're not so much into tea, they have cookies, jellies, chocolates, etc. as well (although many of them are tea-flavoured).

                                          1. madelines,croissants and duck confit-a bottle of wine,cognac

                                            1. Incredible thread!
                                              I will be in Paris in January, I hear it is game season.
                                              Do the parisians make any interesting products from wild boar (salamis,pancetta etc..), like the itallians do?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: gastrognome

                                                Absolutely-look for "charcuterie du sanglier". Not really parisian, however!

                                              2. I sure hope he brought you some macarons from either Laduree or Maison du Chocolat! they are like no macaroons we get here in US! and some Quenelles from Giraudet. Now I'm getting hungry!

                                                1. I posted a question on this thread a while ago about bringing back liquids. We successfully got back with olive oils, mustards, jams, and plenty of other goodies. I discovered that most fromageries will vacuum pack cheeses for transport. We did this and brought in a wonderful variety that eluded the little beagle in the airport.

                                                  1. I'd also add saucisson sec, although I'm not sure if it will pass customs. Has anybody tried it yet? I brought back rillettes du mans a long time ago without trouble, but it was in a heavy crock and I wrapped it in old clothes and stuck it in my checked luggage. Alas, what I most want to bring back is the fresh dairy products!

                                                    1. Regarding the crocks of fresh mustard from Maille. You have to put it in your suitcase. They pack it fairly well though. I had one in my suitcase that made it home fine. My BF's leaked but his suitcase wasnt packed as tight as mine. Also from Maille, I get their mayonaise that is in the refrigerator section of grocery store. And their Fins Gourmet mustard. They dont sell this "flavor" in the US.
                                                      I like all the different types of sugar they have there. I love the rough cut brown sugar cubes. Yes you can get it here but its 3X more expensive. Also got some cute white sugar cubes in different shapes - hearts, diamonds, clover, spades. And some dark brown sugar cubes like rock candy. Very cool. Of course you need to get one of those roll-top sugar bowls like they have in every bistro and cafe.
                                                      I like to go to a regular corner shop and get regular stuff like flour, yeast, and vanille sucre that comes in packets. Also Maggi Fond de Volaille and Fond de Veau. Lavender honey - it costs alot there, but costs a fortune here. Noirmoutier Fleur de Sel. Salt from Noirmoutier is supposedly the BEST! Lotus Speculoos, other brands are not as good. Butter -- everyone is raving about Bordier butter but I still prefer Echire. Comes in a cute little basket. If you refrigerate it until you leave it will be fine. French butter is more dense than US better and it doesnt get all greasy. Fleur de Darjeeling from Mariage Frere. They dont sell this particular one in the US. I like to get anchovies packed in salt. They are actually Italian - not French but I couldnt find them this time. In the past they;ve had them at Galerie Lafayette. Also couldnt find Bar Le Duc. Absolutely too expensive here. Maron Glace if you can find them--theyre usually an Autumn thing but in the past they;ve still been around in the spring. The ones from Laduree are really good--the ones from Debauve & Gallais are not.
                                                      These are not foodie things but since I'm at it I thought i'd mention it. I love Tonigencyl toothpaste. Gets your teeth really clean - though doesnt taste so good. La Petit Marseillais shower gel. I used to be able to find it here but not anymore. Plus it costs nothing there. I picked up 12 bottles this time.

                                                      1. Pick up the store-branded eco-friendly shopping sacks. They might not taste as good, but will bring back those memories of Paris every time you go shopping. I brought back three bags from La Grande Epicerie from Le Bon Marche.

                                                        One can say that it is a bit pretentious going into Trader Joe's with my three bags (OK, my bride says I'm pretentious shopping with them) but they bring back memories, which is the intent of a souvenir.