ISSUE 38  |  Kitchens Around the World

12 Made-in-France Kitchen Essentials for Francophiles Everywhere

September 24, 2014 3:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

French kitchens are filled with ideas worth stealing. Equip your own as the French would with a batterie de cuisine, all the essentials from the right cookware to vinegar fermentation pots and string market bags. Here are a dozen of our favorite accessories.

Above: A staple of French cafes and restaurants, Duralex Petit Picardie Glasses, shown here in a Paris kitchen designed by Marianne Evennou, have a shape inspired by 18th-century French crystal. A set of six Petite Picardie Glasses, 5.4 oz each, is $20 at Quitokeeto. Learn more about the glassware in Object Lessons: Iconic Cafe Ware from Duralex

Above: A classic Cast-Iron Críªpe Pan, 12 inches in diameter, is €54.30 (US $69.80) at Paris’s best cookware shop, E. Dehillerin

Above: The ultimate of its kind, the Peugeot Chocolate Paris Peppermill stands 18 inches tall and has been made in France since 1855; $185 at March, in San Francisco. See more Peugeot mills in today’s 10 Easy Pieces post.

Above: For formal weekend grocery shopping, there is, of course, the woven market basket–the panier. Its casual counterpart, the cotton net bag, is small enough to tote around and whip out during impromptu trips to the grocery store. For a list of our favorites, see 10 Parisian-Style Net Bags. Photograph by Aurélie Lécuyer of Le Dans La.

Above: The secret to French sauces? The Chinois, a household standard, is a conical sieve used with a wooden pestle. At Williams-Sonoma, Chinois Strainer, Pestle & Stand is $119.95.

Above: Our favorite iteration of fine French china is Astier de Villatte’s black terracotta with a glossy whitewash of glaze. Available at Sue Fisher KingJohn Derian, and ABC Home in the US, and directly at Astier de Villatte in France. Photograph by Alexa Hotz from Posh Japanese Workwear, by Way of France.

Above: Founded in 1890 by an enterprising 18-year-old in the Savoie region, Opinel has been synonymous with French knives ever since. The Opinel Utility Kitchen Set 1300 is $38.11 at Amazon.

Above: From Objects of Use, in London, the French Vinegar Pot of salt-glazed stoneware is made for fermenting and dispensing wine vinegars. It’s handmade in Argent sur Sauldre, near Orléans in central France; £70 (US $114.75).

Above: Ingredients for a good poached egg? Water, loads of salt, white vinegar, and a Tin Egg Poacher like this one from Merci, in Paris, with a dark gray chrome finish; €7 (US $8.99). Sur la Table also sells a French Tin Egg Poacher for $8.

Above: Top-of-the-line cookware can be sourced from at least three longstanding French companies: Staub, founded in Alsace in the 1970s by Frances Staub (its 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte, shown here, is $284.99 at Zwilling J. A. Henckels); Le Creuset, which began as a collaboration between two craftsmen in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France in 1925; and De Buyer, which has been manufacturing steel cookware in France since 1830.

Above: Two great all-purpose beechwood spoons made in France: Soil-Dipped Wooden Spoons, shown here, are $29 for a set of three at Provisions, and natural wood Large-Handle Beechwood Spoons are $6.95 each at Sur la Table.

Above: A collection of go-to tart pans in various shapes and sizes is essential. This Rectangular Tart Pan is made of heavy-gauge tinned steel by a French bakeware company in production since 1887; $18 at Williams-Sonoma.

Above: In the French kitchen, linen tea towels are dual purpose: They’re used for drying hands and spills, and for wrapping day-old bread for freshness. Striped Tea Towels from Merci in Paris are €18.50 (US $23.77) each.

Heading to Paris? Check out our Travels with an Editor series, and see pastry chef David Lebowitz’s website for the definitive list of Cookware Shops in Paris. For more French kitchens, visit our Gallery of Rooms with French Style. On Gardenista, discover a Parisian Florist Where Flowers Are Arranged by Scent