Every time we look behind the scenes in French kitchens, we discover an arsenal of new (and not-so-new) must-haves. Here are a few of the things we’re coveting.
Above: The Complete Shovel and Brush, a beautiful broom and no-stoop dustpan combo designed by Mr. & Mrs. Clynk from Andrée Jardin; €79.90. Above: Cloth Knot Bags (or baluchons) are made in France by a textile artist and are an all-purpose alternative to plastic, for carrying and preserving bread, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more. (“When you place the knot high enough, they become very practical handbags and when you place it lower, they make beautiful gift bags,” the vendor notes.) They’re €24 and available via designer Caroline Gomez’s shop, The Art of E. Above: A stainless steel and bone Sommelier Wine Opener made by La Forge de Laguiole for The Cook’s Atelier, a cooking school and culinary shop in Burgundy run by an American mother and daughter. Above: For the kitchen and bathroom, the classic Marius Fabre Wall-Mounted Soap Holder is $48 from Boston General Store. (For glamorous soap dishes, see Astier de Villatte’s white-glazed terracotta designs.) Above: Formaticum Cheese Bags are made in France of a special two-ply paper that preserves flavor and allows cheese to breathe, $9 per pack of 15. Biodegradable Cheese Storage Sheets are also available.
Above L: A Recycled Glass Bottle is €9 ($9.48) from Merci, home to some of the best housewares browsing in Paris. Above R: In addition to hanging laundry, Pincinox Stainless Steel Clothespins are useful as recipe or place-card holders. Made by a family factory in the South of France since 1969, they’re $20 for a pack of 20 from Flotsam & Fork.
Above: The French string bag is the compact precursor to today’s reusable grocery sack. A simple white French Grocery Bag is available for $12 via Brook Farm General Store. Above: From Poterie Renault near Orléans, a Stoneware Vinegar Pot—for making wine vinegar from wine bottle leftovers—is £70 at Objects of Use in Oxford, England. Above: Papier D’Armenie is a classic French air freshener with a vanilla scent. Made since 1885 in the Paris suburb of Montrouge, it’s sold as booklets of papers to be torn off and tucked into a drawer or folded into an accordion and burned to chase away kitchen odors. It’s $6.50 per booklet of 36 strips, and $60 for a box of 12 booklets (shown) from Flotsam & Fork. (While stocks are being refilled there, Papier d’Armenie also sells on Amazon: a set of three booklets is $23.95.) Above: Manufacture de Digoin, the oldest pottery studio in the Loire Valley, makes ceramic French essentials in rich colors, like this yellow Oval Plate and small Mustard Jars. We also like their natural Terra Cotta Oven Dish.
The Francophilia continues: Above: An all-natural cotton Bread Bag transports bread from the market and keeps loaves fresh for three to four days; handmade by Quebec-based company Dans Le Sac, a boule-size bag is $16 CAD. For more, see Dans Le Sac: Simple Cotton Bread Bags from Quebec.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran July 13, 2015.