The best place to buy french cookware is in France, not surprisingly. However, if you can't travel to Paris, do not fret, you can start your French cookware collection by surfing ebay for le-creuset pots both old and new. Do not be put off by purchasing a second hand le creuset pot, because they last and last and last.
Better still when you search on ebay keep an eye on items listed incorrectly spelt "le crueset". Lots of people spell it incorrectly and you can nab yourself some incredible bargains. Because le creuset pots are incredibly heavy it is a good idea to keep in mind where the item being sold is located as postage and shipping can add up. Copper pots also last and are worth looking for on ebay as well.
There is much more to French cookware than ramekins, gratin dishes and copper pots. Good quality French cookware not only enhances your cooking it is also an incredible joy to use. What makes French cookware so irresistible is that it is made for a lifetime. It is not about disposable products. It is about buying products you can use for a lifetime and then pass on to your children who can then pass it on to their children. Chuck Williams, founder of Williams-Sonoma loves French cookware.
If you are lucky enough to make it to France, the top restaurant supply store is the most famous cookware store Dehillerin pronounced "Day-le-ran" which is the top restaurant supply store for all Parisian chefs. It is located in the area called Les Halles, where the wholesale food market used to be. Its address is 18-20 Rue Coquilliere, First Arrondissement, Paris 75001.
When you holiday in France next, pack lightly and with an additional suitcase inside your main one. Allow yourself a few hours to drop in at Dehillerin in Paris and buy some famous French cookware that you will be able to enjoy and that your children and grandchildren will get to enjoy when you are long gone pushing up daisies.
If possible arrange to visit Dehillerin not on your last day in Paris as lots of people end up by returning on a later day to buy additional items before they fly out. It really is an addictive exercise that will do your kitchen proud.
Here you will see heavy-duty pots, great quality knives, and sturdy baking pans that really really work. Wooden shelves are piled high with every conceivable kind of tart pan, square, round, oval big and small. There are white porcelain baking dishes and Le Creuset pots in every colour and size. The range is unbelievable.
American visitors often remark that you can get better kitchen utensils than you can get at Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table at half the price. And remember that you can claim your VAT refund. If you can't get there you can order online at e-dehillerin.fr.
Visiting the store is a memorable experience. It is cramped, poorly lit, typically quintessentially Paris, and wonderful. All the help in the world is there if you are willing to speak a little French, or your best Franglais. People in the know think no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Dehillerin. You will find kitchen utensils items you see in cook books and that you have only dreamed about.
When you get home your friends will be green with envy and your children will thank you in years to come, and you will have a new passion for cooking.
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Corina Clemence adores french cookware and runs Chateau du Guerinet a luxury castle in the Loire Valley near Blois, for up to 15 people perfect for visiting vineyards, castles and relaxing. There are six luxury bedrooms available or the entire chateau can be hired exclusively for a wonderful vacation with friends and family. Rent a castle in France. Hire castle France. www.loirechateau.com
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