Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Parisian Pantry

It’s been almost three weeks, sans rue Montorgueil. No daily run to Eric Kayser for bread or to the market for the sweetest, snappiest apples (and I am doomed because the apples here in the states are nowhere near good as France’s… doomed!). No being seduced by the shape of a jar of honey at the fromagerie or the scent of pain aux raisins at Stohrer.

Although I did stockpile some bonbons and chocolates for my trip back to New York (boxes from Un Dimanche à Paris and Franck Kestener), if I could have carted a whole Parisian pantry, here is what I would have brought home with me:

• Cote d’Or Speculoos bar – okay, this one is technically from Belgium, but, still, its crunchy-spicy-dark chocolatiness haunts me
• Lucques green olives – from Spring Boutique
• Maille mustard – the grainier, the better
• Honey from any street market
• Ruinart – rosé, s’il te plait!
• Bordeaux – cases and cases of it because, even though I’ve ordered a glass of Bordeaux a couple times while out at dinner, it just hasn’t tasted the same
• Nicolas Alziari olive oil
• Sea salt
• Nutella
• Eric Kayser jam – raspberry or apricot
• Haribo – While I grew up on the gummy bears and colas, it wasn’t until Paris that I met the deliciousness of Dragibus (sans gelatin!) and those darling little pink Tagada
• Bernachon tablettes – a giant, expensive stash from L’Etoile d’Or

What am I missing?


  1. I'm coming to NY in April. If i can bring you care package let me know. I'd be lost without my Barate salted butter, creme de speculoos a tartiner, Pommery mustard and sirop de grenadine!

  2. Macaroons, I live them!!!!!

  3. But can you not find a lot of the things on your list in NYC?Nutella and Maille mustard , sea salt for sure !

    I would think the breads and pastries would be what I would miss most. Those are the things "They" just do better than Anywhere ! and my husband says Cheeses.

    I must not dwell on what I cannot get here, it would be too depressing :)

    Enjoying the snow ? :)

  4. Malabar bubble gum--just because.

  5. Oh my god, Dragibus! My fave! Everyone I know thinks they taste like perfume, but I love 'em. Think I need to make a trek to France, if not to just hit up the local Monop'! bisous!

  6. Oh oui, Ruinart rosé AND Kayser's bread AND Nutella ! With a Berthillon's ice cream to finish the diner ! That's a good menu ! :-)

  7. @ a Broad: some things that you get in one country taste different and/or have different ingredients in another. This varies from just different soil giving different grapes a different taste... to using less of one ingredient to another (this could be due to seasonal variation) some of the outright disgusting things (chemicals, preservatives, whatever) that some countries put in their 'food'.

    I am Belgian-Australian and frankly some of the things that creep on the shelves are disgusting. (I read the ingredients on cheddar sticks from the USA ... I fail to see how it counts as food let alone cheddar - the processing takes out the calcium which they them have to add back in! And Australian Nutella has a little less hazlenuts).

    Overseas I miss my vegemite, artisan cheeses, local fruits. And double-zout drop!

  8. Those caramels I found in the market on Boulevard Saint-Germain. Salt and butter. I'd devote a whole shelf to them.

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  10. You certainly miss macarones from Ladurée :0)) I'm totally addicted to them and L O V E them very much!

  11. You forgot speculoos spread! Mmmmmmm...speculooos...

    La Mom
    An American Mom in Paris

  12. Sugar Daze, you are a doll - thank you for the offer!

    The rest of ya... you're making me salivate. You know what else I'm really missing? The yogurt. The thick, rich and creamy yaourt. And marzipan everywhere.

  13. What a magnificent list! I love Ruinart so much. Don't think we've had the rose though- always something to strive for isn't there? I discovered speculoos as a flavour on my last visit to Paris, but sadly only found out about the spread after we had left- yet another reason to go back. Happily, Nutella, Maille and Ruinart are available worldwide. I didn't know about Haribo- will definitely check them out next time.

  14. You don't have Nutella in New York ? How is this possible???
    I think you really need a French survival kit. I could send you a care package ;o)

  15. I just figured out that the Specaloos spread all the American expats in Europe rave over is actually made from those addictive Biscoff crackers Delta serves in flight (the only thing they do right anymore imo). It's called Biscoff spread over here and you can order it online. It is pricey -- $6 per jar, plus shipping, but it is my newest guilty pleasure. That said, I'm loading up on Specaloos spread next time I go to Paris, for sure.

  16. No, no, we do have Nutella here in New York. In fact, I can get it at the 24-hour Duane Reade across the street! But there's something sad about that. I like to separate my flavors with my experiences. I will gladly inhale a Nutella brownie from a NY bakery. But buying my own jar and slathering it on tartines belongs firmly in my "Paris life." Although I seriously toyed with the idea of importing a jar or two of Speculoos, but then it was like: where does it end? I would literally then have needed to pack up a gazillion bottles, jars and tins of goodies. Instead, I will plot a springtime visit to reconnect with these delicious Parisian flavors! :)

  17. Cote d'or Specalooooooos ! It haunts me too.

  18. Honey, I will send you a detailed email later but just wanted to say I'd be happy to send you stuff if you need. We have a French friend who lives in NY and coming to Paris on the 15th....I could send you something back with him if you wish?? don't be shy!

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