We all know Paris is filled with wonderful pastry, cheese, bread and butcher shops. But where do the patissiers, boulangiers and chefs de cuisine find their equipment? If you're traveling to Paris and looking to add a beautiful piece of copper, enamelware, porcelain, or maybe a whisk or rolling pin to your collection, you'll want to visit these shops. Find your way to the 1st arrondissement. I use St. Eustache Church in Les Halles as my starting point. Once the "belly of Paris", and now a public space, this neighborhood once housed a large food market. When the market moved to the edge of Paris, the businesses who supported the chefs remained in the area. Unassuming, no nonsense and packed with treasures, these experts have any tool needed to prepare a meal.
On our last trip, Gary and I walked to each of my favorite shops to pick up a few supplies and get photos for you. It helps when you're walking down the street to have an idea of the building you're looking for.
The first shop is E. Dehillerin. To find it, exit the Metro at Les Halles, exit Rue Rambuteau. As you exit, turn right and you'll see St. Eustache, walk on the left side of the church and 2 blocks ahead is the shop. You'll find two floors of equipment ranging from copper pans to tiny paring knives. My rolling pins come from here. They'll lathed by a man outside of Paris in small batches. Made of boxwood, they have more weight for their mass. The rolling pins age with a beautiful golden patina.
As you walk out the door of E. Dehillerin, Make a sharp left, and walk to the next intersection. Here you'll find M.O.R.A. and A. Simon. These shops have many dishes, serving pieces and pastry supplies. It's fun to look at all the shapes and sizes or dishes! You'll find cute items like table top mustard pots, sugar bowls and ice cream treat decorations.
Walking along the street I was struck by the gorgeous architectural detail on the building and railing.
Just around the corner is A. Simon at 48 + 52 rue Montmartre. When you walk in, you'll see a huge selection of gorgeous French porcelain tableware.
G.Detou at 58 Rue Tiquetonne (in the 2nd arr.). It's small and busy. A must for any pastry chef. The shop is filled with chocolate, decorations, and all ingredients pastry. It's a dream to walk in the door and see everything you've ever used all in one spot. It's hard to say which shop is my favorite, but I have to say that my heart beats a little faster when I'm in G. Detou!
After a busy morning of shopping and gathering supplies, we needed to ship our purchases home. The best method is La Poste. Luckily it's on the same block as the shops. One of the kind shop workers offered his assistance with a cart to get us to the post office on a drizzly day.
As you're shopping be aware that tax will be added to the prices. If you're making a large purchase, be sure to inquire about the V.A.T. forms to submit at the airport. If you're carrying the items in your luggage, you'll need to declare the goods at Customs as you will any other purchases. Depending on the material and cost of the goods, you may be required to pay duty. While the shops are able to ship to the United States, and other countries, the cost is high. The do-it-yourself method at La Poste is must less expensive and not difficult. Ask the shopkeeper to prepare your goods for shipping.
I hope you've found our tour helpful, and will be able to visit someday. Here's a madeleine recipe, a great reason to stop by a shop and pick up a madeleine pan.
To print this recipe, click HERE
Make 36 large Madeleines
400 gm melted butter, plus 1 T for preparing pan
340 gm granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
20 gm honey
10 gm baking powder
360 gm flour, plus 2 T for dusting pan
2 tsp lemon zest and/or 1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence
confectioner's sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Using a pastry brush and very soft butter, butter the madeleine pan (areas where cakes will be). Spoon some flour on the pan to cover, shake and tap off.
Melt butter and rest to allow milk solids to settle to bottom on container.
Beat sugar and eggs in mixer until very light and fluffy. Add zest and herbs, salt and baking powder, and honey, mix gently.
Fold in flour with spatula, then slowly add butter leaving as much of the butter solids in bottom of bowl as possible. Once mixed, allow the batter to chill about fifteen minutes in refrigerator until batter is slightly firm to the touch.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch open tip with (no more than 1/2 full) with the batter. Pipe into mold, refilling the pastry bag as needed. Each mold should have a strip of batter in the center, not more than 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for about 5-7 minutes until golden. The cake should spring back when pressed lightly.
Remove pan from the oven and immediately rap the edge of the pan on the countertop. The madeleines will pop out of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, dust with confectioner's sugar when cool.