Shopping french butter, cheese, wine and other goodies

La Maison du Beurre

Well of course this Bretagne trip had to end on a shopping note, and why not since french edibles took up nearly half the space of the passenger seats? It would be a plug-in electric cooler and several bags that would enable me to “stock up”, so to speak, and with the exception of a few specialty shops, much of what we brought home were purchased at big supermarkets: Auchan, Super U, Carrefour and Intermarche. Hurray for stores that now open on a Sunday, because back when I first moved here, getting groceries on the day of rest was non-existent. Tell that to an american who is accustomed to 24/7 everything. Sheesh.

La Maison du Beurre in St. Malo

The butter counter

Doesn’t matter whether you come here solely for Bordier’s butters or to look at the in-store museum; this shop is *it* for a beurre fix. And make sure it’s not the sweet, unsalted kind (what’s the point really?). I picked up some beurre aux algues (seaweed) and beurre au Yuzu. So far I’ve only used them on steamed vegetables and am actually happy with just that, but my palate tells me I should try huge scallops and monkfish. We didn’t get to watch the butter being expertly pushed and shaped into precise little packages but it was enough to see and get a faint whiff of that big yellow block on the counter.

Alain Hess Fromagerie in Beaune (Bourgogne)

Cheese from Alain Hess

Fromage, Kusmi teas, Provence olive oils, preserved vegetables, fruit jams and so much more. I even found the coveted tonka beans that although banned, still finds its way into the states. MotH had a difficult time choosing which cheese to bring home, but there is one raw goat milk cheese in particular – Sein de Nounou – that we’ve been nibbling on to make it last. It literally translates into ‘breast of nanny’ and gets its suggestive appearance from the funnels used to shape them. The tub of cancoillotte is from Berthaut Fromagerie in Époisses but it’s also sold in french supermarkets.

Food shopping in France

Imagine if the vacation had lasted longer, or if I had a way to store perishables and garden produce. Imagine trying to fit all this in a suitcase to travel hundreds of miles back home! So glad I don’t have to travel as far, but the suitcase is not a bad idea to keep things stacked and organized instead of just crammed into the car.


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