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Feb 3, 2014 02:17 AM

Favorite train food, knives, mustards from Paris and Reims, Part 3

1) Creperolles, Comté cheese and walnut flavor

From an interesting deli on Rue Cler, maybe 50 meters away from La Mere de Famille.
I first tasted Creperolles at my local Central Market's
"Passport France", a 2 week showcase of French foods, cooking classes, etc. However, they didn't pick them up as a stocking item. I'd forgotten about them till I saw them in that deli.

This website describes them as
"Creperolles are French cocktail snacks that will not last through the first drink…A specialty of Brittany, France; it's a delicate and buttery paper-thin flaky mini crepes filled with a variety of different savoury cheeses, including Roquefort & Comte cheese etc."

They are a delicious if brief taste of cheese and butter to accompany wine from . They are very "airy"; if you inhale strongly you'll aspirate them :-). Have a sip of Pinot Noir. Then let a Creperolle melt in your mouth. GREAT train snack with a small bottle of wine from the wine fridge (my hotel balcony, the best wine fridge ever...see pic.)

2) 2 knives from Le Bon Marche

2 knives from Le Bon Marche with a chic contemporary design that's a riff on Laguioles.

The smaller one is good for a bread knife and great for scruffing steaks and pork loins to give them crust. What is scruffing?

I haven't used the pretty saucisson knife yet. Wish I took a pic of the knife display at Le Bon Marche. They had a million different colors and types, all in the beautiful Laguiole shape handle. I thought the handles were interesting... like a translucent gradient of color. Wonder how they did that.

3) Clovis mustards

First tried them on the excellent Raw France tour of the grand cru champagne house Wafflart-Briet in Sacy.

After the tour, we explored Reims, a deceptively difficult town to pronounce correctly. (rrrawnce maybe) Came across a Christmas Market stall that carried a variety pack of the Clovis mustards. Not sure what to use the red grape mustard for now, but I can't wait to find a good reason...

Other snippets of Christmas in Paris, 2013
Part 1
Part 2

and pictures from what I described in this post.

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  1. Thanks for the report!
    I agree re train food. We always pack a picnic and have never been disappointed.
    Re the knives...tell us more about them. All info is valuable when anticipating a trip to Bon Marche.
    Re (rrrawnce maybe) Reims is our last stop before flying home next trip and that is about what I've heard.
    Good luck!

    6 Replies
    1. re: hychka

      hychka, Those knives were on an upper floor of Le Bon Marche, in a display with many others like them in all different colors. The display was visible immediately upon exiting the escalator.

      Price was low enough to not give me pause... maybe between 10 - 15 Euro.

      I wish I bought the beautiful red handled one too. The other colors were too loud for me (purple !?!) , but the brown, vanilla, and red caught my eye.

      Suggestion: Save that picture to your cell phone. Show someone in the kitchen section of Le Bon Marche the picture and I bet they will point you to where they are now. (Hopefully it wasn't just a Christmas thing).

      One thing I completely forgot to buy - a Le Bon Marche shopping bag! I remembered one from the big 3-lettered store in the Marais, but forgot the one I really wanted!

      1. re: sweet100s

        Wise to remember the kitchen section in Bon Marche is on the top floor (4th?) in the building across the road from the food hall - the buildings connect via the basement or a bridge on the first floor.

        1. re: PhilD

          Phil, Somewhere I got the impression that you live in the 6th. If so, want to meet for some wine with me and my wife mid May to mid June as we'll be on rue Saint Sulpice? (Yes, our apartment ...we are in our third!...keeps moving as we have more guests visiting.) How does one go about meeting fellow chowhounds?

          1. re: hychka

            I used to live on the corner of Rue du Bac and Bld Saint-Germain but have now moved to Hong Kong. Would have loved to meet if I still lived in Paris.

            1. re: hychka

              Check out Enoteca Midi at 77 R du Cherche Midi. They have a fine selection of Italian wines and some oils, vinegars etc.

      2. You have the right idea.
        Avoid train food like the plague. Bring your own (food, not plague).
        My go-to train picnic is a block of foie gras, antipasti prepared the night before, then fresh baguette at the last minute (or pain de campagne if the train is an early one). And fresh fruit. Voilà
        Oh and a good bottle of something.
        One of the last tiimes,e Deluccasnobcheesemonger not only brought his cheese selection but he also talked us into bringing real wine glasses. He was sooooo right.

        22 Replies
        1. re: Parigi

          " real wine glasses. ....sooooo right!"

          Always our first travel purchase after arrival. Nothing tastes good from a bathroom glass or a clunky glass from the bar. :)

          1. re: mangeur

            we have carried a pair of these for years and years:


            (there are several styles available


            unbreakable (believe me, if anybody could break them it would be me...), inexpensive, and while they're not glass, they are a thin-rimmed vessel with a stem.

            We faire la pique-nique with style!

            along the other requests -- if you have a car, there's Pommery mustards in Meaux (which has a wonderful marche on Tuesdays, as well as being in the heart of the Brie-making region)

            I agree to bring your own train food, as the crap they sell onboard is deplorable and expensive.

            Do make sure that your Laguiole knives say "made in France" -- some enterprising ass-clown has filed the intellectual-property rights on the name (how the hell do you get IP rights on the name of an ancient village??), and is hawking made-in-China garbage as "authentic".

            1. re: sunshine842

              I prefer the Govino stemless glass with an indent so they're easy to handle. Much less likely to tumble on my boat, or on train or picnic.
              Amazon, Wine Enthusiast or

              1. re: UPDoc

                we've tried and tried, and just really can't love stemless glasses.

                we've found that a shoe makes a perfect place to put a wine glass where it won't fall over.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  I need glass-glasses. It's all in the clink.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    there's entirely too much clink in a checked bag or in a picnic bag in the car.

                    I prefer glass, too, but these are 100 steps above a plastic drinking vessel when traveling, and only a few steps below a breakable glass.

                    We're back to having a pool deck -- glass is a major no-no out on the deck, too.

                    UPDoc's point just below about shards in one's lunch is a rather convincing argument.

                  2. re: sunshine842

                    Sorry but I won't allow a shoe, especially one which has been on a Paris side walk, on my table. Nor do I want to be barefooted on Paris grass. It's not a matter of love for me, I also prefer glass and purchase a couple of good glasses for our annual Paris visit, but rather one of practicality. Good glasses are often smashed in a bag carrying picnic or train lunch items. I don't like glass shards in my food.
                    Good wines taste fine in the Govino's.

                    1. re: UPDoc

                      why in the world would I put a shoe on a table, which already has a level and flat surface? The shoe is for stabilizing the glass when dining à la campagne on some sunny little hillside or river bank in the middle of nowhere. Even the expansive picnic grounds at the Chateau de Chantilly, while mostly flat, are just uneven enough to need some stabilizing, and it's pretty rude to put your shoes on the picnic blanket.

                      We also don't picnic in Paris often -- we're usually too busy having lunch and dinner with friends either in some new place they've discovered or at their homes.

                    2. re: sunshine842

                      Final analysis solution: just never put your glass down.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        Or get those ones that don't have a base just a spike.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          we actually spent a fair amount of time one lazy afternoon doodling out an attachment that would thread into the base of the wine glass but would have alternately a spike and/or a tiny folding tripod. Another interesting variation was a bendy tripod that would even wrap around a small tree branch.

                          1. re: PhilD

                            A Czech friend of mine designed those. They are great. But you have to get a table with spike holes for them, aiya.

                            1. re: Parigi

                              In Japan there are these killer sake cups, conical-shaped without a foot. You have to hold them in your hand continuously, which means that your cup has to be refilled constantly. My type of vessel.

                              1. re: Ptipois

                                I remember there being a short trend in Paris to have Champagne flutes with no base - they had VERY long stems (40-50cm/15-18") long in different colors. They came with a tall glass vase to keep them on display.

                                (The only thing more annoying than not being able to set your glass down if you wandered more than arms' length from the vase would be having to clear a path to drink so you don't whack someone as the stem swings....)

                          2. re: mangeur

                            It's kind of frightening that there's not one true boozer on this thread - no one who drinks straight from the bottle or boda; we're all getting too old - Riedel glasses on the TGV - Lordy.

                            1. re: John Talbott

                              how about this? One year (before we found the lexan glasses) we actually took the folding Opinel to two 33cl water bottles then smoothed the edge with a nail file. Couldn't argue the upcycle or the cost...but they sucked as wine glasses. (but they worked and we were broke...) That was the year we carried the lids from the coffee cans at the office (the translucent lids of actual meta cans) as plates. Also free, also upcycling!

                              (we've come a long way since then -- we now have silverware and a tablecloth and everything!)

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Opinel + 33cl water bottles = our frequent solution to impromptu picnics in the country.
                                DH likes to/insists on traveling fast and light -> carry wine and sausage, not glassware.

                                1. re: mangeur

                                  we just decided that there's a level below which we really don't want to go anymore. We've also been known to buy glasses -- but it doesn't solve the fragility question.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    We haven't found that level yet. ;)

                                    1. re: mangeur

                                      oh, we set out one year to find out what the cheapest bottle of wine we could find and still be drinkable. But we still drank it out of a lexan wine glass :)

                                      It had to be in an actual glass bottle (no plastic vracs or tetrapaks) -- at €1, we actually found some that were drinkable - the €0,80 one was barely above drain cleaner...and by the time we got to €1,49 we'd stumbled across a bottle of Prince de Grezette, the supermarket label created by none other than Chateau La Grezette, well-known for their production of Cahors. (they grudgingly admitted it was theirs when we visited the vineyard, but added vehemently that it would never be available again).

                                      We've found that the €2 mark is a pretty solid line between utter plonk and at least drinkable. (not great...but at least if it were served at a party, you could grin and bear it) There are some not-awful ones at less than €2, but the ration of yuck to okay is really, really high.

                                      It's an amusing treasure hunt - because you don't feel horrible about dumping a bottle of plonk down the drain if it was that cheap.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        I don't know currently what packaging costs (glass, closure, label) are, but they've got to be somewhere around 1.50-2 euros/bottle. Add to that harvesting costs (assuredly mechanical), whatever work is in the vineyard and the cellar, and there's just no way that they can be breaking even on that wine -- even if they're doing 150 hl/ha.

                              2. re: John Talbott

                                Speak for yourselves!

                                I won't drink out of the bottle on the TGV, but in the Canadian wilderness its a whole other story...

                  3. How can you get the newbought knives back home by the plane? I also wanted to buy a laguiole knife,, but was scared if I would have any problem with it for my flight.

                    L'Arpege also has a knife for each guest to take home as a souvenir.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Giannis

                      No problem in a checked bag...carry on won't do.

                      1. re: hychka

                        Just remember if you are taking Eurostar or AVE in Spain that knives of any kind are not allowed. As you might anticipate, this is policed less in Spain and anally in UK.

                        I have had to run across the road from St Pancras before now to post knives to myself.

                        1. re: mr_gimlet

                          They sell disposable wooden knives (& forks) in Bon Marche if you need to use them for picnic.

                          1. re: PhilD

                            Was more intended for the Laguiole buyers