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Aug 26, 2010 08:44 PM

Going to France, What to Buy??

I am heading to France in a week (not Paris) and I am starting my wish list of kitchen items to buy. Right now it consists of the following:

(1) Good terrine pan.
(2) Chateau Laguiole (steak knives and corkscrew)
(3) Vintage Sabatier knife.
(4) Some wood butter molds.

Anybody have any suggestions on other items?

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  1. Jacquard linens (Provence, I think), ceramic pickling jars, maybe a proper cassole/casserole

    3 Replies
    1. re: grant.cook

      Ceramic pickling jars...that is intriguing. Never heard of that one.

      1. re: grant.cook

        And if you can find them, I would consider shipping home some wine crates if you like that kind of thing. I used to work for a wine distributer in England and used to bring home the wooden crates with the winemaker's mark stamped into the ends.At work, they used to just chuck them in the dumpster. I loved them. I used them for storage and wish I had sprung to ship them back here. Sigh.


        1. re: hillsbilly

          Have you checked your local wine stores? One very large wine shop in DE used to give them away; now I see they're charging $1.99 for them.

      2. Vintage champagne buckets, particularly if you like to drink champagne and have a favored brand or two.

        I also like vintage pastis, suze, vermouth water carafes.

        2 Replies
        1. re: souvenir

          Very good suggestion there with the champagne bucket. I like that.

          Where are the best places to find them?

          1. re: smkit

            Flea markets (les puces) and brocantes are where I've found the best prices. Antique and collectible stores are also good candidates.

            I like some new bucket styles too, so you may want to check out kitchenware, wine shops, and department stores for current items that aren't usually available in the US.

        2. From St. Jean de Luz in the Basque region, Jean Vier table linens are beautiful and durable. Hard to find in the US.

          1. Ignore this if you have a supply where you live, but I like to take home the Knorr cubes of fish fumet.

            1. Chateau Laguiole knives really are pretty naff, honestly. And screwpull makes a much better corkscrew, just my two centimes. WHILE you are here, please indulge in the lovely raw milk cheese, just pick 5 different cheeses and go for it with a baguette à l'Ancienne, just heavenly. I'll second the Knorr and Maggi stock cubes, there's a huge variety here. Plus Fond de Veau, makes spectacular gravy and is a lush, subtle ingredient in many different meat dishes or as a slight thickener. If you go to an Emmaüs, which is a countrywide charity, rather like Goodwill, with centres in all the largest cities. You can pick up terrine pans, linens, etc, for next to nothing. You'll be shocked. Check the Pages Jaunes for your nearest one, they're usually only open a couple days a week, but so worth the trip!

              5 Replies
              1. re: LaCheshireChat

                In street markets, you can find folding Opinel knives (many times cheaper than Laguiole). They won't last forever, but they take a very sharp edge as they are carbon steel.

                I can find both those knives here (Montréal) but they are a lot cheaper in France.

                Agree about Emmaüs. Wonderful stuff.

                1. re: LaCheshireChat

                  Thanks to everyone for the great recommendations, and I will definitely try to get to an Emmaüs. to look around.

                  And I can't agree more about the yogurt. When I was in Haute Savoie the cheese and yogurt there blew me away. I'll keep my eye out for those terra cotta pots.

                  1. re: LaCheshireChat

                    I checked near Lyon and it appears as if the nearest Emmaüs is bit out of town.

                    8 Avenue Berliet, 69200 Vénissieux, France

                    I'll check the yellow pages when I get there and see if there is a closer one.

                    1. re: smkit

                      Vénissieux is an old working-class suburb of Lyon; the métro goes there - line D. Lyon has excellent public transport for a city of its size, click on the little Union Jack to view the site in Engish. Obviously thrift shops won't usually be in the poshest part of town.

                      You can check French Yellow Pages out online from anywhere in the world: It doesn't seem to be in English, but it is easy to navigate: "Quoi, Qui" means "What, Who" and "Où" means "Where". It has photos, maps, all sorts of features.

                      Lyon is a lovely place to visit - and eat! Do take notes and start up a thread on the France board!

                      1. re: lagatta

                        Thanks for the directions. From a quick check of the yellow pages, it seems as if that is the only one in the area.