1. Water and Iced Tea Pitcher with Toile
Toile decorative designs are very common in France. You’ll see them on aprons, wallpaper, linens, and this pitcher. It’s great for holding iced water, tea, and punch.
2. La Rochere Goblet Set
The bee was a symbol for Napoléon and can be seen on everything in France. These glasses are a good example. They’ll provide a wee bit of 19th Century style to the dinner table. Here’s a bit of history about the icon
Napoléon I wanted to highlight Carolingian and even Merovingian heritage, a good manner to skip the Capetians kings’ heritage, and looked for new emblems in 1804.
The State Council followed Cambacérès and Lacuée, who proposed the bees, as “a republic with a chief”, with a sting but producing honey, which was the emblem of work for Ségur. The team, directed by Vivant Denon, that designed the imperial arms, proposed a semy of bees in “Merovingian style” on the imperial purple coat. The original design was deemed “too archaic”. Later, a bee with well-detached wings was selected, and appeared on the Emperor and Emperess’ clothes, as weel as on the hanging in the Notre-Dame cathedral during the coronation.
The Bees as the Imperial Symbol
3. Extra Thick Copper Frying Pan
Every French kitchen has a thick copper frying pan. These utilitarian pans will become the centerpiece of every meal. This 10.2-inch frying pan has sloped sides for high-heat frying. The extra-thick 2.5 mm copper exterior heats quickly and evenly, yet it also features a non-reactive stainless interior lining that holds up to heavy use and cleans easily.
4. Electric Crepe Maker
There was one thing I missed tremendously when I moved from Southern California to Paris: Mexican Food. That’s right, I needed my quick meals that were filling, greasy, salty, sinful, yet sooo good. Fortunately, there is a replacement in Paris; the crepe stand. You can get a sweet crepe or the savory version (gallette) that will warm your soul for just a few euros. Now you can recreate this dish at home.
But don’t think crepes are just for fast food. Take a trip through Brittany to explore the wide variety of crepes and finish the meal with a strong cider.
5. Colorful Salt Cellars
These colorful salt cellars look like they came straight from the Bastille farmers market in Paris. Their whimsical shapes and fun colors will add a dash of spice to your table. These are meant to hold some nice finishing salt, such as the wonderful Sel Gris From Guerande.
6. Laguiole Pearl Handled Spreader Set
Laguiole, a small French mountain town about 350 miles south of Paris, is famous for its cattle, its cheese, and its cutlery. The original Laguiole knife was made by iron smiths in 1829, as a farmers tool. This farmers tool was refined into the Laguiole Steak Knife, which is used today by many famous French restaurants. This pearl handled set is made just for spreading honey, confiture, or creme fraiche.
7. Bain Marie for Creme Brulee
Custards need to be baked at a consistent temperature. Normally you’d place your ramekin dishes in a pan half-filled with water. This set has special dishes and larger pan that lets you bake the perfect set of custards. This set also includes a torch for creating a perfectly carmelized topping.
8. Grand Dictionaire de Cuisine by
My coworkers gave me this book when I left the Paris office to move back to the United States. It’s an amazing book by Alexandre Dumas, who is best known as the author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo . This book was a work of love for Dumas and consumed the last part of his life.
His massive Grand Dictionnaire de cuisine (Great Dictionary of Cuisine) was published posthumously – Wikipedia
The book is filled with charming line drawings and extensive descriptions. Please note: this book is written in French, although it is still very interesting for those that do not know the language.
9. Classic French Cooking with Dorie Greenspan
Dorie Greenspan has written some of the most accessible, delicious books about French cuisine. My copy of her book Baking with Julia is dog-eared and splattered with batters and doughs. Her latest cook book, Around my French Table, promises solid French cooking that you can do in your kitchen.
Here’s an interview by Dorie with the Poilane boulangerie.
10. The Sweet Life by David Lebovitz
David Lebovitz is an internationally respected pastry chef that moved from Berkeley to Paris. He’s written a series of beautiful cookbooks that explore the sweet side of life. The Sweet Life highlights the greatest bakeries and candy shops of Paris while also telling stories of life across the ocean. You’ll quickly find yourself addicted to David’s humor and recipes.
- Francophile Shoe Sets – The Lacoste Bleu Blanc Rouge Collection Celebrates French Heritage (GALLERY) (trendhunter.com)
- Musketeering: Pierre Pevel’s The Cardinal’s Blades (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Bienvenue: France’s expats get their own radio station (independent.co.uk)
- Crepe Expectations: Veggie Variety at Crepe Bistro (chicagoist.com)