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What do you bring home from France?


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Would those little figurines in the Epiphany cakes be considered Santons? I have yet to be roi for a day...

I don't think these are santons. There's nothing particularly provencal about them either. Traditionally they're either a bean or a little baby Jesus. The latter might work in a creche, but that doesn't make it a santon. Just from the very few galettes de roi I've had, it seems these days they'll use anything including a little Mickey Mouse statue. Nothing's sacred.

:biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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QUOTE (Margaret Pilgrim @ Aug 25 2002, 03:44 PM)

Bux, from what I understand/remember, lifesized biblical creche figures were very much a part of a Provencal Christmas until their exhibition was outlawed by the Reign of Terror after 1789.

Bux answered, "From what I understand, you were too young to remember much."

You've got it backwards. I'm so old that 1789 is crystal clear; yesterday is the blur. :wacko:

eGullet member #80.

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  • 4 years later...

Hi folks,

My husband is going to Paris next week for work on MY birthday! He must be punished by being forced to lug big suitcases of gifts back for me. Where do you suggest he goes to shop? Too bad he can't bring back wine because of the current regs., but there will be chocolate, yes lots of chocolate. He's staying in the 6th, nerar the Pomipidou--I have put chococlates from Hermé and Sadaharu Aoki on his list as well as Sauterne-soaked chocolate-covered raisins from Da Rosa. Any other suggestions?

Also, some good places to eat in the neighborhood within the cheap-to moderate range would much appreciated.

Mercy Buckets,

(as we say here in Vancouver).

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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we bring wine home in our suitcase.......

I like to bring home tins of foie gras and pates, tarbais beans for cassoulet, if your into cocktails a bottle of violet liquor is awesome, nice mustards and salts, chocolates, different casis than I can get at home, french fashion mags, saussicon sec!

edited to say that that area has awesome Falafel places, one is called The Best I think!

Edited by little ms foodie (log)
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we bring wine home in our suitcase.......

I like to bring home tins of foie gras and pates, tarbais beans for cassoulet, if your into cocktails a bottle of violet liquor is awesome, nice mustards and salts, chocolates, different casis than I can get at home, french fashion mags, saussicon sec!

edited to say that that area has awesome Falafel places, one is called The Best I think!

In the 80 plus times I have have entered the US from all different places, I have never brought back meat products.

I don't know what Canadian import standards are, but the US will not allow the importation of sausage and I'm thinking pates as well.

I came home day before yesterday and I brought home some smoked sea salt, some more sea salt with herbes de provence, chocolates from many different chocolatiers, matcha madeleines, macarons, tea from kusmi and some cheese (allowable).

I stopped by daRosa to see if I could pick up some Ferber jams, but since they now serve lunch, I would have had to reach over someone eating to get to them, so try and have him go early in the day. ;)

Magazines are nice as well, but with the euro at 1.32 to the US dollar, I read what I could at my hotel and finished my book on the plane.

Oh, if you can get your lovely husband to stop by Sadaharu Aoki with a sturdy container he can bring you back some of their lovely eclairs.

Yum.

Bonne Anniversaire.

lalala

I have a relatively uninteresting life unless you like travel and food. Read more about it here.

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Get him to bring back a couple of half bottles of Sauternes...easy to sneak into the luggage. :biggrin: The selection in Paris is huge compared to Vancouver.

Stephen Bonner

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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sneak..... bring..... whatever-yes i bring back meat yearly......

edited to add that you can check with customs as there are many meats allowed. But yes I have brought back things that weren't allowed.

Edited by little ms foodie (log)
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If he's limited in time which is likely since this is a business trip I suggest he try the main Galleries Layfette. The food halls there have pretty much anything you would want.

Maybe not always the best or best price, but tretty efficient.

Cans of confit are a good thing.

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We actually bring back olive oil more than wine -- it's easier to get good French wine here in DC than olive oil. We bring some wine, though, too. If he packs his luggage carefully, he should be fine, but I'd suggest going for a few special bottles rather than trying to lug home a case. We were in Paris a couple of years ago just about this time and the Marie-Ann Cantin cheese shop in the 7th, near the Rue Cler market was having a sale. They vacuum pack their cheeses and I have had no problem getting them through customs. But the thing I regret was that they were having a half-price wine sale, and they had a bottle of Vin Jaune for sale. Somehow I'd gotten it into my head that I wanted to try a Vin Jaune, but I didn't spring for it -- it seemed a little old for a white wine. Turns out you're not even supposed to think about drinking one until it's 15 years old, and I'm not sure I've ever seen one for sale, at any price, here at home. Tell him to keep his eyes peeled for something like that rather a Bordeaux or Burgundy you can probably find in Vancouver (which they tell me is a sophisto town).

There is a chain of stores that sells jarred (not the term I'm looking for, but it's late and I'm tired) foie gras that is pretty darn swell and that American customs inspectors allow through without a second glance. I think they even have a branch in the airport.

French fabrics are great: tablecloths, napkins, even dish towels. Fabrics range from cool and slightly tacky to cool and lovely, priced accordingly. And you can use them to pad the wine when you put it in your luggage.

My two favorite souvenirs from France, both from a flea market and surely available in a Paris knick-knack shop ("brocante") somewhere if he's not there the days the famous Marche de Puces is open are a pastis set - -- water caraffe and six glasses all bearing the "51" brand logo,- and a set of "antique" (OK, just old) silver plate flatware. The French somehow have agreed on a slightly bigger size for their forks and spoons than we Americans so even if the design doesn't scream "French" the dimensions do. Every time my daughter asks what to set the table with and we say "the French stuff" it reminds us of a great vacation, and we'll have that set long after the wines and oils have been consumed.

And, of course, a set of Laguiole knives to go with the forks and spoons.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Macarons. It's the one thing that's too fragile and perishable to ship and the only way to get good ones is to go to Paris or have someone bring you back some. If he's going to Herme already, perfect. No, they won't last long-he'll have to get them on his last day, preferably on the way to the airport-and you'll have to eat them asap, but I have never ever found macarons in the US (I guess I can't speak for Canada) as good as in Paris.

Edited by kiliki (log)
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Thanks all you seasoned travellers for the great advice! I will be sure he packs containers for macarons and eclairs. Never heard of vin jaune--I'll tell him to keep an eye out for it. I love the idea of getting him to wrap everything in French table linens--smart.

I suppose someone's designed the ultimate suitcase for carrying wine (or olive oil). I'll get him to ask at the wine stores how they're packing bottles to take in cargo.

Sigh, wish I could go. Next time.

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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I will be sure he packs containers for macarons

Oh, now THAT is smart. I always just carry them gingerly onto the plane but next time I will bring tupperware.

I suppose someone's designed the ultimate suitcase for carrying wine (or olive oil). I'll get him to ask at the wine stores how they're packing bottles to take in cargo.

I've never had trouble just packing them in the travel boxes wineries give you, then making sure they have lots of padding in the suitcase. For smaller things like olive oil I bring ziplocs, then wrap them in my clothes.

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One of the things we always bring back is the 3 bottle carryon from the Moulin Jean Cornille in Maussane. Now with the liquid restrictions, what do you suggest is the best way to carry it home. I dread the thought of clothes soaked in olive oil.

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly....MFK Fisher

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One of the things we always bring back is the 3 bottle carryon from the Moulin Jean Cornille in Maussane. Now with the liquid restrictions, what do you suggest is the best way to carry it home. I dread the thought of clothes soaked in olive oil.

Mimi, last year we brought back a litre box from Moulin Jean Cornille. It is a plastic bag inside a sturdy cardboard box. When you get it home you pull out and cut off the end of the spigot.

I am wondering if vendors such as these who deal with international customers might start packaging for check-in baggage. I usually bring the crock back to Maille in Paris to have it refilled but since they advise that you carry it on the crock will stay home. C'est domage.

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I usually bring the crock back to Maille in Paris to have it refilled but since they advise that you carry it on the crock will stay home. C'est domage.

Last month, I brought home a giant crock of mustard from Maille in checked baggage and it made it through just fine (well-wrapped, of course, and in a sturdy suitcase). It wasn't even checked at our stopover in SFO; however, a friend of mine had a crock in her suitcase and while the crock made it home in fine condition, TSA at JFK did open it and smear mustard around.

We also managed 6 bottles of wine and several other jars of jam and honey in our checked bags.

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Thanks all you seasoned travellers for the great advice! I will be sure he packs containers for macarons and eclairs. Never heard of vin jaune--I'll tell him to keep an eye out for it. I love the idea of getting him to wrap everything in French table linens--smart.

I suppose someone's designed the ultimate suitcase for carrying wine (or olive oil). I'll get him to ask at the wine stores how they're packing bottles to take in cargo.

Sigh, wish I could go. Next time.

Your wish is their pleasure.WineKaddy I have had one about 4 years and can vouch that it is pretty much indestrutable.

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

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Your wish is their pleasure.WineKaddy I have had one about 4 years and can vouch that it is pretty much indestrutable.

Ooooh, thanks for the WineKaddy link. One of those things I didn't know I needed until I saw it. :biggrin: One of these trips, the ole wine-bottles-wrapped-in-dirty- laundry-inside-the-checked-bag trick is gonna fail.

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  • 10 months later...

We'll be in Dordogne in May and I'm wondering about bringing back truffle products. I know it's not truffle season, but is it worthwhile to buy and bring back canned truffle, truffle butter, etc? Is there anything to watch out for (for example, I know with foie I need to beware that I'm not buying the cheap eastern European stuff)? Or, will I only find the same products that I could get in the US, and so with the low dollar, is it not really worth it to buy?

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Ooooh.... thanks for reviving this thread, which I hadn't seen the first and second times around!

We usually bring back:

-> Wine -- Once we brought in 18 bottles and didn't have to pay duty. Although we declared them, the Customs inspectors were more interested in pulling us aside for detailed agricultural inspection of the cheese we had, to make sure there weren't any forbidden kinds. Alas, most of the wine may go by the wayside with the current airline regulations on liquids.

-> A bottle of chouchen (mead), preferably homemade by a friend's cousin.

-> Cheese -- lots of kinds we can't get here.

-> Chocolate. We once brought back a whole attache case of chocolate bars!

-> Candied chestnut paste. Cheap there; exorbitant here.

-> Cookies, such as butter biscuits from Bretagne.

-> Mustard -- several types/brands we can't get here.

-> Spices -- I'm partial to Cuisinez tout a la Marocaine from Ducros. Yes, it's a supermarket brand, but it's exceedingly tasty and I haven't been able to duplicate the flavor from scratch.

-> Kitchen items such as baking pans, metric measuring utensils, those lovely French dishtowels, refrigerator magnets.

-> Cooking magazines (especially special issues) and cookbooks.

Before reading this thread, I hadn't realized that canned foie gras was allowed into the USA -- I thought it was illegal like canned meats. Can anyone recommend a favorite brand for future reference? Our favorite type of foie is mi-cuit but I suppose that's on the list of no-nos.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Kiliki, I'm not qualified to tell you what to bring home from the Dordogne, but i want to say that it totally IS truffle season right now. The truffle markets and truffle menus are in full swing.

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