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Nov 15, 2010 06:38 AM

What edibles or food related items do you bring home from a visit to Paris?

Hi Chowhounders - We're leaving for Paris in a couple of weeks and thanks to the tremendous help of the posters on this board, we're all set for restaurant recommendations. We'll be there for six nights so will have some more time on this trip to explore the city. Are there certain edibles or food related items that you always bring home from your trips to Paris that you simply can't find at home? (One that is on my list are salted caramels from Jacques Genin.) For those who live in Paris, I would love to hear of your favorite Parisian items that you've noticed aren't available elsewhere. I will be traveling to Chicago for one night from Paris and then back home to LA. I will have access to a small hotel fridge in Chicago.
Thanks so much!

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  1. We love artisanal oils from Huilerie LeBlanc (6 rue Jacob in the 6th). And mustard "on tap" from the Maille Boutique at 6 Place de la Madeleine.

    4 Replies
      1. re: jenn

        I love the LeBlanc oils, too. But I'm kind of partial to Hédiard's 3 peppers mustard, around the corner from Maille.

        Incidentally, although mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I just ordered a Cabri Arièois cheese from Alléosse to bring to the states next Tuesday.

        1. re: RandyB

          You do love that cheese.monsieur. Cabriolet is quite similar if not exactly the same. try to find Pechagos and La Petit Fiance des Pyrenees,both goat, both from near Foix, and you will love both of them.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            I have not tried Cabriolet or Pechagos. I'll look for them. Thanks for the suggestion.

            Le Petit Fiancé is my next choice when I do not expect a group large enough to share a Cabri Ariègois, or when the C-A is not available. The Fiancé is also easier to find in other shops. Alléosse seems to have first dibs on available C-A Ariègois supplies.

            I almost made to Foix last April when staying in the Pyrenées, but my friends chose to go to the Pic du Midi for the views instead of a foodie trip.

    1. Usually some wine (natural and/or particular vintage or wineries that are hard to get here in Montreal)
      Some paté/rillettes/... from small producers that I find in markets.

      Other than that, not much.

      1. Foie gras in jars, not in tins.
        Confits d'oignons.
        Both preferably from farms, not from big brands.
        Honey from the roof of Opéra Garnier (I admit, for the novelty).

        4 Replies
        1. re: Parigi

          hey, where do you buy this honey? Is it for sale at the Opera gift shop?? And, has anyone bought the Luxembourg gardens honey?

          1. re: hearts_ease

            "where do you buy this honey? Is it for sale at the Opera gift shop??"

            Yup. It does not always stock it. I mean: there is a season. The jars of honey are all sold within weeks after arriving at the museum boutique.
            I had to reserve two jars in advance.

            "And, has anyone bought the Luxembourg gardens honey?"

            Yes, but that was 10 years ago.
            The best source of Paris honey I have had, I found it in the Spring Boutique, from a ruche on rue des Pyrénées.

            1. re: hearts_ease

              There's a very nice Frederick Wiseman documentary of the Paris Opera ballet, where the bees and their keeper make a brief appearance, along with the fish tanks in the basement. Wonderful for anyone with an interest in the building or the institution.

          2. Always a young Epoisses. A chunk of as aged comté as I can get my hands on. Chåtaigne liquour.
            Tarbais beans. Variouis unexpected oddments I come across at G. Detou and elsewhere.

            My problem is that I get so attached to these treasures that, other than the cheeses, I tend to squirrel them away and save them for...what?.... So my buyuing mantra has become: How and when will you use this?

            8 Replies
            1. re: mangeur

              Mangeur, I’m thinking that we are in synch with you; your first three are ours, too. (Our fourth has become Genin’s caramels.) But what really catches our attention is your mention of “Châtaigne liquour.” Ever since we had the regional aperitif “Pelou” (a dash of liqueur de Châtaigne along with the local sparking wine) at the delightful northern Auvergne “Chateau Ygrande” ( ) in 2007 and 2009 -- and bought a bottle there in 2007 (“Distillerie des Orgues et des Volcans”) -- we’ve searched in vain for a similarly good bottling in Paris. We've asked in fine wine and liquor stores; no luck. (I’d inquire in my poor French for “Liqueur de Châtaigne”? We’d get quizzical looks -- then, finally the person’s face would light up and say, “oh, you’re searching for ‘Liqueur de Châtaigne’ ”? Yes, I thought I’d said that, but apparently not; evidently I put the emphasis in the wrong place – I’m still not sure.) Finally, we got the bright idea to ask in Auvergne specialist stores. In those places, first we found “Crème de Châtaigne,” by “Couderc” – a nice looking bottle, but it turned out to taste like a chemistry project. Then we found “Liqueur de Châtaigne,” by Marius Bonal -- promising, and better, but still not approaching the golden viscous stuff that we had at Ygrande.

              So: can you recommend a maker and place to purchase this in Paris?

              1. re: mangeur

                Ah. Epoisses is my favorite.

                So then:
                Who in Paris has the best epoisses in the best condition?

                1. re: pauliface

                  You won't go wrong at either Laurent Dubois or La Ferme St. Hubert Both provide excellent product and sweet service. And not least, raw milk epoisses. Do watch out that you are not sold pasteurized epoisses at other places.

                  1. re: pauliface

                    There are currently three makers of Epoisses. Berthault, Champery(?) both make the cheese with thermalized milk only. Jean Gaugry from near Gevrey-Chambertin makes it both ways. It is getting very, very difficult to find the au lait cru though. Most Gaugry is thermalized in Paris as well. All that comes to the states regardless of manufacturer is thermalized. When you get the Gaugry at a store just check the package, if it does not say au lait cru, it isn't. Due to EU all swiss Vacherin Mont d'Or is now thermalized, at least what comes into France and US/Canada. The French Vacherin on the other hand is still usually au lait cru, yippee.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Thank you both. This info will really help.
                      Only 1 week til I head to paris!

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        I used to buy a nice Epoisses from Marie Ann Cantin. My daughter especially loved the mini ones that they called "Tru Cru" (I think). I have switched my primary allegiance to Dubois, though, so I haven't been to Cantin for a few years.

                        1. re: Nancy S.

                          The last one I bought from MAC was pasteurized. Whether they had raw milk also and I just was given the "other", I'm not sure. But I now stick with Dubois or St. Hubert.

                          1. re: Nancy S.

                            The name of the mini Epoisses 'Tru de Cru' is a riff on the French expression for a**hole, which is trou du cul.

                    2. Lots of goodies (including, of course, foie gras) from the Dubernet store in either Paris or Lyon, ditto for quenelles from Giraudet. Cognac from my favorite house which is hard to find here. Mustard... Cheese from Dubois or Richard. sometimes wine, depends where I've been. Chocolate truffles.

                      And next time, caramels from Genin!

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: ChefJune

                        The Dubernet store at 2 rue Augereau, across from Cafe Constant, is a wonderous place; don't walk in there when you are hungry. They are happy to advise as to those goods that Customs will waive on through. Not cheap however.

                        1. re: Oakglen

                          no, but the brands of similar goods you can get in US are not up to Dubernet's standards, imho.

                        2. re: ChefJune

                          And what, pray tell, is your favorite cognac house, and where do you procure it?

                          1. re: pauliface

                            Marcel Ragnaud is the cognac house, and Caves Taillevent carries them. (or they did when I was there in 2008).

                            15 Rue Lamennais, Paris, Île-de-France 75008, FR

                            1. re: ChefJune


                              I'm also a big fan of Calvados, if anybody has any favorites...

                              1. re: pauliface

                                Julhès has very good calvados. And cognac.

                                1. re: pauliface

                                  Quoting myself,
                                  We stick with Natural Color brand calvados: smooth with a lovely, haunting finish.

                                  1. re: pauliface

                                    Chateau de Breuil makes some very nice old Calvados -- and it's available in the US, according to the folks there.