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Where in the D.C. area (or anywhere within a 200 mile radius) can I find French products?

I'm looking for items like imported milk, flour, muesli, chocolat patissier, beurre gros sel, creme legere, lardons etc... I've scoured the internet - zero luck. Thanks!

asked by Margaux over 3 years ago
9 answers 1866 views
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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 3 years ago

For on line try http://www.culinarydistrict... Some of the products will be domestically made, others such as beurre gros sel they may have imported from France. Surfas is on the other coast and may require second day shipping. For your lardons you should be able to find cured but unsmoked bacon in Virginia.

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added over 3 years ago

Thanks for responding! Yeah maybe the only way to go is online. I tried Surfas but they don't really have anything I'm looking for. So far I've seen a lot Mondizen, Simply Gourmand, and Courses en France. Just looking for a physical store so I don't have to order things all at once. And I've also tried using cured unsmoked bacon, but the flavor just isn't right :/

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added over 3 years ago

I don't know of one store that would carry all that at one place, but you might check out Rodman's or World Market for some of the dry items. For the dairy, I might call the cheese stores in Alexandria and possibly Dean and Deluca in Georgetown. La Cuisine in Alexandria might have the chocolate, and a call to them might put you in the right direction for some other items. Also, you could call L'academie de cuisine in Bethesda (or a French restaurant, for that matter) and just ask if they know any sources for what you're looking for.

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added over 3 years ago

Thanks a lot! I've tried Rodman's and World Market, but I'll look into La Cuisine and that's a great idea to call restaurants...can't believe I didn't think of that.

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added over 3 years ago

Here's a list given to embassy staff when they come to DC:
Paul’s
Washington, DC 20004 202 524 4500
Washington, DC 20007 202 524 4630
801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 1078 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
French bakery and cafe. Croissants, baguettes, pastries, quiches, salads.
Patisserie Poupon 1645 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20007 202 342 3248
Pastries, breads and super salads with ice cream in summer
Saint Michel Bakery 5540 Wilkins Court Rockville, MD 20852 301 770 5090
Wonderful French bakery with croissants, baguettes and great pastries.

It is not very impressive! And Washington used to have so many French restaurants and shops--the best was the French Market in Georgetown, which sold some of the best pate around. And the guy behind the counter would draw a heart on the neatly wrapped package before he handed it to you.

Dean and Deluca would probably be a good bet. I would also try Wagshal's, a deli that has been around forever. Check on their location--they have been in Spring Valley, but I think they are moving to the Foxhall, both along upper Mass Ave.

For butter and milk, try some of our local producers.The Dupont Circle Farmers Market on Sundays includes a dairy from Maryland that produces top-quality milk from Jersey cows. You can also buy excellent butter and yogurt at the market as well. Another farmers markets I like is in Penn Quarter on Thursdays. and New Morning Farms from PennsylHere's a list given to embassy staff when they come to DC:
Paul’s
Washington, DC 20004 202 524 4500
Washington, DC 20007 202 524 4630
801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 1078 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
French bakery and cafe. Croissants, baguettes, pastries, quiches, salads.
Patisserie Poupon 1645 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20007 202 342 3248
Pastries, breads and super salads with ice cream in summer
Saint Michel Bakery 5540 Wilkins Court Rockville, MD 20852 301 770 5090
Wonderful French bakery with croissants, baguettes and great pastries.

It is not very impressive! And Washington used to have so many French shops--the best was the French Market in Georgetown, which sold some of the best pate around. And the guy behind the counter would draw a heart on the neatly wrapped package before he handed it to you.

Dean and Deluca would probably be a good bet. I would also try Wagshal's, a deli that has been around forever. heck on their location--they have been in Spring Valley, but I think they are moving to the Foxhall, both along upper Mass Ave.

For butter and milk, try some of our local producers.The Dupont Circle Farmers Market on Sundays includes a dairy from Maryland that produces top-quality milk from Jersey cows. You can also buy excellent butter and yogurt at the market as well. Another farmers market I like is in Penn Quarter on Thursdays. New Morning Farms from Pennsylvania sets up a market at Sheridan School on Reno Road, NW, on Saturday mornings.

As for flour, I have a friend from France in DC who gets French flour from Eli's Vinegar Market in New York--perhaps you can mail order it. But also, at the Dupont Circle armers market, Heinz from Next Step Produce is growing his own grains and selling local flour. He is from Switzerland, so he should be familiar with the European weights and protein levels. I can't wait to give it a try. Check him out--his vegetables are perfection--and tell him Margie from Garmisch sent you!

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added over 3 years ago

Another thought: if you get desperate for something you can't find, call the French embassy!

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added over 3 years ago

Wow this is so helpful!! I will definitely check those out. It would be good to find a soft, low-gluten flour that's locally produced, I'm all about that. And true, maybe some local dairy farms make that butter with giant salt crystals. I literally ate that stuff by itself it's so good. After I try these places, I guess the next step is to go to Meetups and meet some French expats! They would know, wouldn't they. Thanks again!

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added over 3 years ago

Sorry for the repeat in my previous response--oh, for an edit button!

I know the butter you mean. I get it every so often at our weekly market here in Garmisch. Spread thickly on a slab of our magnificent "Bauernbrot", a sour dough rye, it is indeed a meal! Of course, I wouldn't pass up a glass of beer to go along with it. I think you may be able to get the real butter imported from Brittany at Wagshal's or Dean and Deluca. Check out this site from Vermont Creamery--looks like they are producing it as well and it is sold at Whole Foods.
http://www.vermontcreamery...

Some other shops you might want to check out are in Rockville. They are far from being French, but they have great hard-to-find food. Yekta specializes in Persian and Middle Eastern foods and has a very good restaurant. In the same shopping center, toward the back past a Chinese restaurant called, I think, Joe's Noodle House, is a Russian deli. And across Rockville Pile, not too far from Penzey's spice store is the Kielbasa Factory. They have the best sausages around DC. I am addicted to their heavily smoked kielbasas. They will let you sample, too, so you can compare the various flavors. They also have fresh yeast, which they get weekly. That's hard to find in DC.

As to flour, I think you want what we call pastry flour--the flour used for pie crusts and biscuits or scones. You should be able to find that at Whole Foods or Dean and Deluca. if not, check King Arthur Flour's website. They will ship flour if you can't buy it locally. And speaking of pie crusts, if you want real, honest-to-goodness fresh lard, that is available at the Dupont Circle farmers market--at the meat stand in the same row as Heinz' Next Step Produce, all the way at the end near Mass Ave.

And some last thoughst:
Alliance Francaise offers a wealth of programs--call them and they'll put you on their email list.
St. John's Church down by the White House used to have a lunch once or twice a month for people who speak French. This was decades ago, but it mught be worth contacting them to see if the lunches are still happening.

Welcome to DC! It is a great place to live and eat!

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added over 3 years ago

Hey--late to the party here, but you might also try P&C Market on 11th & East Capitol (SE side, I think), adjacent to Lincoln Park. It's easy to miss--there's a flower shop next door that kind of obscures the market's entrance. I'm not sure about French products specifically, but the place itself has a very European vibe.