Herbs de Provence

Apr 9th, 2006, 12:33 PM
  #1  
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Herbs de Provence

Yesterday I was with my daughter in Sur La Table in Los Gatso when she spied a small crock with lid made in France with Herbs de Provence written on it containing herbs. She told me that was the only thing she wants me to bring her back from Provence next summer. I offered to buy it right then and there (so I don't have to carry it back) but she insisted she only wants one bought IN France. Question is: Will I be able to find this little crock in Provence or is it something made for export. Sorry I couldn't find a picture of it on Sur La Table's website. Thanks.
Ronda is offline  
Apr 9th, 2006, 12:41 PM
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Hi I bought a ceramic grinder filled with herbs de provence in a small store in Paris. You can find similar through out france in cooking stores. We also brought home a large bag that we paid $3 for. I must admit it tastes fresher than the stuff we can buy in Canada.
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Apr 9th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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You can buy them at any street market in Provence. And yes you can buy the stuff itself in huge bags for little money as well. Here's another use besides cooking. It makes the BEST potpourri for a kitchen!
 
Apr 9th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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They are expensive here compared to there and she'll love the burlap or colorful Provençal bags they are packaged in. I bring a large burlap every year. I have a huge crock I got as a gift, I never noticed the crocks
but I'll bet they are there.
cigalechanta is offline  
Apr 9th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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Yes, you can buy it in cute little containers or in a bag. We bought it in a shop in Menton in a lovely little container. Now that I have used it all up, I buy it in my local grocery store but it just doesn't seem the same! Have to go back to France!
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Apr 9th, 2006, 12:54 PM
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Marianna, I'll bring you back a bag if I'm there before you this year.
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Apr 9th, 2006, 12:54 PM
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Thank you for the info. The very small crock at Sur La Table was $9.95, I believe. The large one was outrageously expensive so I didn't even put it in my memory bank.

You didn't have any problems bringing dried herbs through customs? The dogs didn't pick up on it?
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Apr 9th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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no, only things with dried fruit or roots still attached. One year I didn't see an olive still on my branches so they took them away from me. One time coming back from wales, I left a bit of root on the heather I picked and that too was taken away. Another time, I gatherd a huge bunch of lavender much to the delight of the passengers as the lavender permeated th plane and everyone said they had a pleasant sleep.
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Apr 9th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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You will find them all over the place,both in the crocks and in plastic bags. You might also think of bringing your daughter several lavender sachets; they come in all sizes and are usually made out of those beautiful Provençal fabrics.

I do like the Los Gatos Sur la Table, at least when I can't do my Christmas shopping in France.
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Apr 9th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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FYI, the French spell herbs differently: herbEs.
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Apr 9th, 2006, 02:33 PM
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"You might also think of bringing your daughter several lavender sachets;"

Yes, I am thinking about bringing back lavender. My daughter is getting married in June, 2007 and I thought making lace lavender sachets might be an interesting favor. She may not think so. lol She loves sunflowers and so some sunflower print fabric of some sort is definitely on my list.

Can't you just read the headlines:

'Woman arrested after suitcase full of lavender sets off alarm, bomb squad called in to explode suitcase sending shower of lavender over airport.'
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Apr 9th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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"You didn't have any problems bringing dried herbs through customs? The dogs didn't pick up on it?"

No problems at all. I think the smell of those kilos of dried porcini always drown out the smell of the herbs anyway!
 
Apr 9th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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I was just in that same Sur la Table two weeks ago...and I live in South Florida!

We always replenish out supply of herbs when in France...they are wonderful and very reasonably priced.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 06:30 AM
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You can buy those all over France, by the way...easy to find in Paris, for example. And not illegal to bring into US.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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Herbes de Provence is mixture of dried herbs. The main ingredients are thyme, rosmary, oregano. Some producers also include fennel or lavender.
You will get it indeed anywhere in France. However, in the supermarkets (even in Provence) the freshness and quality is often questionable. There are specialized stores (e.g. Le Herbier de Provence) who sell high-quality herb mixtures. Street markets are also a good bet. Many merchants mix according to your wishes. The best bargain is buy herbes de Provence in plastic bags. It's freshest and cheapest while stuff in fancy containers is usually overpriced and not always fresh.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Incidentally, since I ran out of the ones I brought back from France, I recently bought a big container plastic shaker type of them in the herb section of Costco. They are very fragrant, and seem very good. They were just about as cheap as the ones I buy at street markets in France.
 
Apr 10th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Neopolitan, I bought the same ones (Mccormick select?) and was not impressed-they were not very fragrant and didn't taste like my prior ones.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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hmmm. I just got mine and they are very fragrant and nice. Actually since the ones from France I had just finished I'd had for nearly a year, I'm not surprised these taste good by comparison. Herbs do not last long. Those you get in France or anywhere else need to be used quicky. Keeping them tightly sealed will help, but my opinion is that no herbs are still going to be much good after 6 months or so.
 

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