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Aug 10, 2011 11:12 AM

Where to buy Beurre Bordier?

I am making a last minute stop in Paris on the 11-13 Aug. I have been to Paris a few times before, but I am trying to limit myself as my time is short.

One of the things I want to do is try some Bordier butter. I read about it a couple of years ago in Saveur and was intrigued. I often make my own butter, and I was just wondering where a person could buy it (if they can).

Here is the Saveur article.

They mention the Quatrehomme cheese shop in the article, but I wasn't sure if they actually sold it there.

Of course it is August, so I expect I might run into some closed restaurants/stores, but here are some things I have been wanting to check out.

Eating Out:
* Spring
* Le Comptoir (for lunch
)* Le Baratin

* Bordier butter with fresh bread
* the Maille Boutique

E. Dehillerin
A. Simon

I'm staying at Mama Shelter in the 20th and will probably spend most of my (limited) time in the 10th, 11th, and 3rd.

Other recs are welcome.


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  1. La Grande Epicerie always carries Bordier butter, it's probably the surest way to find some. If the Rive Gauche is too far away for your northeasternly point de chute, try Lafayette Gourmet.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Ptipois

      You are staying in an extremely non-central location, in a month when most shops are closed. You probably do have to commute far from your arrondissement if you are serious about your shopping.
      Relatively nearer you are a few places that sell Bordier butter: 1. the Gallerie Lafayette food store. 2. La Ferme St Hubert. 3. Les Papilles Gourmandes.
      1 is open.
      2, dunno.
      3, was open a few days ago. Dunno about the rest of the month.

      Spring is closed.

      "the Maille Boutique
      E. Dehillerin
      A. Simon"

      It is best for you to call ahead to make certain your stores and restos are open. Their numbers are easily found on line.

      You can also check this list:

      1. re: Ptipois

        Thanks for the info. I might try make it out to La Grande Epicerie then. If my memory serves me correctly, I enjoyed the shopping experience there much better. The last time I was at the Galleries Lafayette it was during the sales, and some images just can't be taken away ;)

        1. re: smkit

          The food shop of Galeries Lafayette is separate from the department store. The atmosphere is very different. I can't abide the department store either but am quite fond of the food store.
          In fact the GL food store seems to be better stocked than the Grande Epicerie in general.

          1. re: Parigi

            That's good to know about the GL food store. And thanks Parigi and Nancy S. for the open/closing tips. I fully expect things not to be open, but it is an unexpected trip to Paris, so i can't complain.

          2. re: smkit

            Da Rosa also carries it. Also, I thought that Spring closes for its summer holiday starting the 14th, but I could be wrong.

            1. re: Nancy S.

              I was wrong. You are right about Spring. Bowing.

              1. re: Parigi

                Btw, Spring was great and they also use Bordier butter, so I got to try it. I took the bus down there and then walked back to the 20th. Nice long walk.

                1. re: smkit

                  Bravo! You made it to Spring. Sorriest I nearly steered you away from it.
                  Yes Spring uses Bordier seaweed butter (beurre aux algues Bordier). Its chef Daniel Rose was the one who turned me on to it and told me where to get it (Ferme St Hubert, which is practically next door to the old Spring).

                2. re: Parigi

                  (Oops nevermind. I thought the boutique was already closed, restaurant not closing until tomorrow night.)

          3. One of the advantages of the food market in Gal Lafayette, which l feel is far superior to Bon Marche( AKA Grand Epicerie) is they have all four of the Bordier butters, the demi-sel, doux, yuzu, and algues. As most of my fellow posters agree, the Algues and the doux are indeed the bomb, one of first purchases off the plane.
            Regarding the Maille, remember the unpasteurized mustard is why you are there, everything else is available everywhere. If time permits try to find an old Maille container at a flea market as you need a container of Maille to put the mustard into, l regretfully just got my 23rd container.

            23 Replies
            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              "One of the advantages of the food market in Gal Lafayette, which l feel is far superior to Bon Marche( AKA Grand Epicerie) is they have all four of the Bordier butters, the demi-sel, doux, yuzu, and algues."

              At our last visit, Grand Epice had these four also, plus espelette.

              1. re: mangeur

                San Francisco always 'tops' NY in so many ways, Bless you Margaret.Wine, bread, ham, cheese at Lafayette is far better, n'est-ce pas ?

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  Wine and ham, certainly better at GL. I'm not sure that I've ever bought bread or cheese at either.

                  For some reason, maybe just familiarity, I find BM easier to shop than GL. At GL I always seem to have an "I could have had a V8 moment", finding something I'd rather have after having purchased its cousin at a different "shop".

                  1. re: mangeur

                    “For some reason, maybe just familiarity, I find BM easier to shop than GL.”

                    This is edifying. As I said, I find the GL food store much better stocked, but the Grande Epicerie indeed seems to have a better merchandising and offers a much more pleasing setting. When we are buying food ingredients in a huge shop, a calm, orderly environment helps a lot.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      The two stores are more or less equivalent. They differ on some points but really to me the choice depends on which one I'm closer to at any particular moment.

                      Grande Epicerie:
                      - Very neat and orderly, rationally organized. Everything is at its right place.
                      - A bit more expensive.
                      - Better for fruit and vegetables.
                      - Definitely cuter, likes to advertise itself more as a hangout for Left Wing haute bourgeoisie than as an Ali-Baba cave for foodies.
                      - Very weak on wines.
                      - Excellent "rayon frais" (cold stalls with cheeses, dairy products, packaged charcuterie, foies gras and seafood-based products).
                      - Has some interesting and rare stuff but you're not guaranteed that you'll find it the next time around.
                      - Quality of the meat so-so.
                      - Excellent in-house coffee brûlerie.

                      Lafayette Gourmet:
                      - A bit messier, less orderly and rational, but really fun to browse through (time-consuming though, as the departments are not so well organized as the ones at LGE).
                      - Slightly less pretentious than La Grande Epicerie.
                      - Definitely has more stuff.
                      - Slightly less costly.
                      - Fruit and vegetable stand is a failure.
                      - A good point: branches of good-quality caterers where you can sit down and have a bite (Bellota-Bellota, Dalloyau, Kayser, Petrossian, etc.)
                      - Really deserves its reputation of Ali-Baba's cave for foodies. Slight problem: searching through it may take some time.
                      - Rare and interesting products, especially French provincial stuff that is hard to find elsewhere.
                      - One of the great Paris addresses for wines and spirits, unlike LGE. The wine department is a store within the store, with the added luxury of a magnificent "Bordeauthèque".
                      - Good meat department.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        Well, i think I am going to go to GL Food just because i will be in that area, plus I have never been there.

                        Btw, I love how when I go to LGE website, they are advertising peanut butter oreos. Now we are talking real gourmet food ;)

                        Lastly, just wondering, but when I last went to LGE I found their mustard selection lacking. It was no better than the INNO I had in Annecy and there was definitely a better selection of French mustard at Julius Meinl in Vienna where I also used to shop. What's up with that? Do they have a good selection now?

                        1. re: smkit

                          Not sure re:moutarde at LGE, but GL has about 15 feet of three shelves of stuff including the argued over Violette.

                    2. re: mangeur

                      They always have clacbitou at GL, hard to find elsewhere, other than Barthelemy's 14 euro version. Bread is from Kayser, full assortment.

                  2. re: mangeur

                    My experience as well with Bon Marche -- all 5.

                  3. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Where would one pick up a vintage Maille container? That would be cool.

                    1. re: smkit

                      If you have never been to the Maille store before, you'll find the stoneware jar right there. What you need to do is bring it back to get it refilled, so you should remember to carry it in your luggage, otherwise you'll purchase a new one every time you'll be back. Those Maille jars are hard to come by on flea markets I daresay.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        There are two stands in the itinerant fleas that carry mustard jars, one half toys, half jars; one jars and other porcelains.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          What do you call "the itinerant fleas"?

                          1. re: Ptipois

                            The ones that are on Blvd Voltaire one weekend then at Nation the next. There are about 15 locations that seem to keep recycling. l am sure l am calling them the wrong name.

                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                              Ah OK, I see what you mean. They have no particular name, just advertised as "brocantes" and indeed hopping from one area to another throughout the year.

                        2. re: Ptipois

                          The Maille jars do crop up with some frequency, but you need to have DCM in tow to charm a reasonable price out of the seller.

                          1. re: mangeur

                            Well you don't know how long I've been "chining" on French flea markets... Could hardly walk that I was already learning from my mother how to neglectfully pick up several objects, some you want and some just crap, making an armful of them, and then taking them neglectfully to the pucier and saying "How much would you ask for this lot?"
                            I go to flea markets quite a lot but I rarely see Maille jars, at least not the ones from the Madeleine shop. Older jars do show up regularly.

                            1. re: Ptipois

                              I have no doubt that the intricasies of shopping at every level were acquired with your mother's milk. I was just remarking at the quite low prices DCM has quoted, substantially lower than I've encountered.

                              1. re: mangeur

                                Ah, I've been peeling my eyes like bananas but still can't find those prices he quoted. Hence my misunderstanding of the essence of your remark.

                          2. re: Ptipois

                            And also remember to bring back the cork lid. I had forgotten to do so once before and they were not so cheerful about giving me a new one.

                            1. re: tortoiseshell

                              No, they're cheerful to sell you a replacement cork for a couple of euros, though.

                              1. re: mangeur

                                Not for the very old ones, the corks do not fit, thus l buy the porcelain topped ones or the cork requiring ones, should have a cork.

                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                  I think you can buy new corks of all calibers, which includes those for mustard jars, in the BHV basement.
                                  FWIW Pommery wholegrain mustard jars with a proper cork are still readily available, never tried the corks on Maille jars but that should be worth checking.

                      2. Am having beurre Bordier aux algues right now with my tartine breakfast.
                        Got it yesterday from Les Papilles Gourmandes. This means: 1. Yes PG is open; 2. it has the butter.

                        1. Well, just a recap.

                          * I got the mustard, and that little shop was amazing. I got all three jars on tap. One question though: the mustard is unpasteurized, so will it keep even though it isn't refrigerated on the plane back to the US. I should have thought about that before I bought it I guess, but I was caught up in my mustard moment.

                          * Found the beurre bordier and tried the Yuzu since I had had the algea at Spring. It was very nice with an interesting tang to it.

                          * After Spring, I struck out on pretty much all restaurants. The restaurants I did find open were packed with no seating available. My server at Spring also gave me a list of restaurants that were 'open' and out of those three of the five were closed.

                          * Despite my best efforts to eat well, I got food poisoning from somewhere. It was one of two places, and my last night was miserable. Oh well....

                          * I also picked up baby clothes for my 6-month-old :)

                          * The kitchen shops were fine, and the feel of E. Dehillerin was unique, but I just didn't want to truck heavy copper pots back.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: smkit

                            Fret no more about the unpasteurized mustard, the product is based on mustard seed and vinegar, both self-preserving ingredients, and it will be allright. Later on it should be refrigerated to preserve the flavors, but it does keep well.

                            1. re: smkit

                              “ The restaurants I did find open were packed with no seating available. ”

                              You mean you did not reserve at all?

                              1. re: Parigi

                                I tried to reserve but I just wasn't there long enough to get ahead of the curve, booking the day of or the night before was not enough time. But I did just walk into Spring and got in.

                                1. re: smkit

                                  A lesson for all who ignore the advice on needing to reserve in Paris. Some will book a day or two in advance but at least a week in advance (especially for Friday/Saturday) is required by anywhere good (months in some cases).

                                  1. re: PhilD

                                    In one of the earliest replies to the OP, I said: "it is best for you to call ahead to make certain your stores and restos are open." I have no idea why the need to reserve is so unbelievable.

                                    1. re: Parigi

                                      Well, I take slight offense to your comments (if directed at me). It wasn't that I didn't believe you or ignored your advice, it was simply that this was a last minute decision to visit and I simply didn't have the proper time to research where to go, find out if it was open, and reserve on top of booking a hotel and taking care of all the other things related to international travel. Oh yeah, and all this while traveling alone with my six-year-old daughter for half the journey.

                                      1. re: smkit

                                        Let's weigh the pros and cons of reserving.
                                        If you reserve and it turns out you don't have to, you lose a phone call.
                                        If you show up in a restaurant and are turned away because it is full, - which happened to you several times, as you reported - you lose the chance of eating well on your short trip to Paris.
                                        If you still believe that it is preferable not to reserve , your choice.

                                        1. re: Parigi

                                          Anyhow, sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I walked down to each restaurant and found them packed and I wouldn't recommend a person to do that. I called all the restaurants I wanted to try and they were either not open or, if they were, they were all booked up. That is what I meant by 'striking out'. I only walked down to one restaurant without a booking and that was Spring. I also called them but no one answered earlier in the day, but I went anyhow because the hotel I was staying at said it would be no problem. They send a lot of people there and said there was a bar and one person should not be a problem if I go right when it opened. They were correct.

                                        2. re: smkit

                                          Take no offense. Depending on the parameters of one's expectations and one's time-frame to make these expectations a reality, stuff happens.

                                          1. re: mangeur

                                            Good point mangeur. Looking back at my OP I shouldn't take offense as I did pretty well. I said that I expected restaurants to be closed (and they were), but I got to the Maille boutique, got the butter, went to both kitchen stores, and ate at Spring. Pretty good for a layover that was unexpected.

                              2. Who has had good luck bringing Bordier butter back to the States? I have, but I haven't declared it. The customs and USDA sites online and completely unclear as to whether or not you can bring butter in--they never mention it. So--anyone actually declared it?

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: christy319

                                  Declare it, would not expect any problem. How do you keep it cool ? even with ice pack, mine got VERY mushy.

                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                    Ask the attendants for dry ice every few hours. But you risk not sleeping and being hated by the whole crew.

                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                      I put it and small blue ice in hotel freezer and remove them just before we leave. Also pack them in in my checked luggage so as not to risk having it confiscated by TSA.

                                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                        Salted butter is not going to go bad during a flight.

                                        1. re: christy319

                                          Whether salted or not or going 'bad' is not the issue. If melted will not be same churned texture as before.

                                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                            That's why I mentioned dry ice which keeps the butter from melting, and a plane always has dry ice

                                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                              My butter's never melted on the plane. Planes are cold! It wasn't even in a ziploc or anything last time so I definitely would have noticed had it even softened and leaked.

                                              1. re: christy319

                                                I've brought butter back to the US from France & London (btw, Bordier can be found at Fortnum & Mason) several times.

                                                All I've ever done is put it in a ziplock bag (two if I have an extra) and it travels just fine.

                                                Having transported it in both checked bags & carryon, if possible, I prefer to place the butter in a checked bag as the butter remains more stationary & therefore retains its shape better.

                                                When in a carryon, the other items in the bag tend to shift & jostle causing the butter to get a bit misshapen, perfectly edible but a little less attractive.

                                                fwiw, I always declare the butter and have never had an issue with US Customs.