Paris: Bordier Butter, Dinner at Home, and La Grande Epicerie

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 7comments No tags Permalink 0

We stood in the butter aisle of La Grande Epicerie at Le Bon Marche. I pointed to the Bordier Butter.

This is the best butter in the world.
Says who?
Everyone. Everyone knows this is the best butter in the world.

Pierre raised his eyebrows with a teasing smile. He’s already skeptical of all my Paris “recommendations.” Suggestions I gathered from American friends in Paris, Paris-based food blogs, and discussion boards like Chowhound.

3.25€ for 125 grams. Are you kidding? My grandma (the one with a farm in Brittany) would never pay that much.

So we bought the butter. We bought many things at La Grande Epicerie. For the first time, I have access to a full kitchen in Paris. To not cook would be a shame. We bought ripe summer tomatoes, basil, and burrata. (We overdid it with French cheeses the first few days). We could have gone to the local markets, but I have a soft spot for La Grande Epicerie. It’s so…grand. And everything is displayed beautifully, perfectly ripe fruits arranged in tidy rows, a million glass water bottles shiny without a single fingerprint.

A quick bus ride home and straight to the kitchen. Wash the tomatoes, slice and slide into a bowl with whole basil leaves.

Unwrap the burrata…

…so milky, so sweet.

Pain des amis from Du Pain et Des Idées. We had breakfast at the 10th arr boulangerie this morning. Croissants, a rhubarb snail, and apple brioche-cake. And this fine bread. Hearty with a deep golden crust, our square was cut from a gigantic loaf.

Assemble, assemble. Olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Dig in.

Burrata devoured, we move onto slathering slices of the pain des amis with the Bordier Butter. I took the first bite. Silky, so full and rich. I looked at Pierre.

So?
You think this is the best butter in the world?

He smiled that smile again.

My grandma makes butter 10X better than this.
You don’t think its good?
It’s good, great even. But definitely not the best. Not even close.

He laughed. A nice sort of the laugh.

It’s like at the boulangerie this morning. Every place on your list, everyone there is American. Septime. Frenchie. Spring. Pierre Hermé. I don’t mind. Most of these places are delicious. But you all just follow each other, and your lists, and you end up at the same places. Nothing unique, nothing discovered. They all say it’s the best butter in the world, and then everyone agrees.

We ate another slice of bread with more butter, a sprinkle of salt. He was right. Partially at least. It was great butter. But mind blowing, earth shattering like everyone said? No. I wanted it to be the best. So badly. But truthfully it was great butter and nothing more. Always hard to accept.

Still. Good enough for tonight.

Especially when we moved out to the terrace for a midnight snack. Breezy, cool, quiet. (Still can’t believe we’re back in Paris). The last slices of pain des amies, that butter thickly smeared over, and half a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape left from last night. Somehow we managed to polish off the entire 125 grams of butter in a single evening.

I guess it wasn’t that shabby.

7 Comments
  • K and S
    November 30, -0001

    great post!

  • anonymous
    July 5, 2012

    Great you are in Paris ! Sure you enjoy life & food here ! Yesterday I had an unforgettable lunch at Relais Louis XIII and it was a "coup de coeur" for me. 2 michelin star and a nice chef Manuel Martinez, who wants you to enjoy a great time in his restaurant. I will posta bout this meal in a few days but while you are in Paris, I would just suggest you to have a look… From a french foodista that appreciate your adresses each time I spend a few days in NYC)

  • anonymous
    July 5, 2012

    Guess there is nothing like BUTTER~~ 125g in a single evening…that's plenty, alright.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    July 5, 2012

    Thanks Kat! ^_^Hi Foodista! Thanks for the tip, will definitely keep Relais Louis XIII in mind…sounds like you had an amazing experience!Hi Bob! We didn't intend to finish it all…

  • Tasty Trekker
    July 9, 2012

    I loved absolutly everything about that post. Pierre sounds like Mr. T sometimes :) It's so hard to not get sucked into all the food/wine research when so much is available. It's good to be challenged a bit I think…but I'm glad you stuck to your guns and bought the butter. I would have in a second!

  • anonymous
    July 12, 2012

    Pierre, man What a kill joy, girl just wanted to enjoy her butter!Hahaha I kid, I really liked this new spin you're trying out, you two are too cute. And the homey vibrant photos are much more appetizing than the artsy fartsy kind.

  • anonymous
    July 12, 2012

    Kay, now you HAVE to do a post on Grandmere's butter ;)

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