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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Last Bouilloire in Paris

French Lessons

One of the items on my list of
"Things to Get in Paris" was a
copper kettle.  So I went to THE
place for kitchenware in Paris,
E. Dehillerin.  Dehillerin has been
around since 1820 and everyone
who is anyone in the food world
has shopped there.

Including Julia Child,  I'm guessing
most of those pans in her kitchen
came from Dehillerin, it is where she
shopped when learning to cook in Paris.
Take a look at the kitchen in the background,
 I think it looks alot like Dehillerin.

The interior of Dehillerin reminds me
of the hardware stores of my youth.
Jammed to to ceilings with products,
organized ~ yes, a bit dusty ~ yes,
fancy ~ NO!  If you are the type of
person that must shop in a Williams-
Sonama type of store, this is not for you.

But it is THE place to go for
French chefs. 

On a Spring afternoon, my brother
and I strolled over from our apartment
in the Marais, on a quest for my kettle.

When we got in the store my brother
told the salesman that I wanted a
Bouilloire, pronouncing it "boo loo wah"
and he was corrected by the salesman.
It is "boo oow loo wah".  Now, we will
never forget how to pronounce kettle in
French.  The salesman then told us they
no longer were selling the large kettles. 
There was one hanging on the wall and I
asked if they would sell me that one?
After some consultation with his co-workers,
it was decided that yes, they would.

While they worked on getting the kettle
down and packing it we went exploring
all the nooks and crannies of the shop,
including the cellar.  It is fascinating to
see all the things they carry and to think
of all the great chefs who have walked
these same steps.
Back upstairs, one of the salesmen chatted
with me about tennis while I waited in line
to pay.  I find it sad when I read about this
and other places in Paris and people say they
were treated so rudely.  Only once in Paris
was I ever treated poorly and that was by
a waiter who probably is rude to his own
Mother.  Generally people in Paris are nice,
they are more reserved than Americans but
that is not a problem.  I have found if you
behave in a nice manner, you are treated
well anywhere in the world.

Here is my much used bouilloire.
I think I have found the best way to
 learn foreign words.  Go someplace
foreign and become part of the culture.
Just ask Mr. Wonderful how to say
candle in French ~ bougie.
But that's another story...

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