05 July 2010

Paris for cooks: E. Dehillerin

One of the best parts about getting home after a trip to France is unpacking. I'm not talking about the dirty clothes part; I'm referring to the "buys" you have made! This time my treasures included some great purchases from one of my favorite stores whenever I'm in Paris: E. Dehillerin. This time I scored four mini souffle dishes, a gorgeous rolling pin, and a small carbon paring knife which kind of looks like a mini chef knife. I was planning on buying the small souffle dishes and rolling pin, but while I was at the check out (they have an interesting way of checking out--details on that later)there was a small knife laying on the counter (part of someone's stash of things to buy). Anyway, I picked it up to look at it because it suddenly occurred to me that I might need such a slick little knife like that. As I was inspecting it, a rather good looking and friendly French guy (it was his stash; I swear I didn't know)came over and I tried to explain I wasn't planning on taking it, I just was looking for one like it. When we understood each other, he went to find me the exact same knife, then showed me how it was printed with the word "carbone" on it, and told me with sign language, some English, never never to wash the knife in the dishwasher, and to dry it very thoroughly because it gets spots and can rust quickly. "But it eez the best knife, this kind!" he informed me. After I bought one (along with my other goodies), they wrapped everything up, and I never opened the package until I got home. That's when I discovered the sales person put the tip of the knife into a wine cork to keep it from poking through the wrapping I guess. Is that so French? They add style to everything!!PS My other "buys" included bags of seasalt (I was in Brittany), jars of caramel sauce, boxes of caramels, a cute pair of red shoes, some fresh rose and violet garlic (honest, officer, I forgot I had put it in there), a new grey jacket, and... mais oui... a beautiful scarf.