Equipment to buy in Europe

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by ntosaj, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. ntosaj

    ntosaj

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    Alright guys, so here it is. My lovely girlfriend is abandoning me at my dull job this summer for 2 weeks to head off to Europe (lol). As sad as this is, she insists on picking up some cooking gear for me as a sort of consolation prize. Question here is, can you think of any cooking/pastry making must-haves from Britain, France and Spain?

    Any products/brands you think would be best bought say... in Paris?

    I know that for one I'm looking for a good bench scraper...

    Thanks a bunch guys!
     
  2. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Mauviel comes to mind in Paris and IIR there is a large Masamoto knife dealer there as well.

    Spain...Just bring the Jamon!  

    Dave
     
  3. ntosaj

    ntosaj

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    Ooooo yeah Mauviel looks wonderful! Do you have any experience cooking with it? I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to brands and so on. Aside from my sabatier knives and my family creuset I'm pretty lost lol

    As for the Jamon, I wonder how exportable it is :D
     
  4. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I'm not familiar with Canadian Import law and the US is a lot different. I've made the mistake of forgetting that more than once coming back from Me through Canada. Getting into Canada with goodies...no problemo. Getting back into US,  Grooooooan.

    LOL

    Maybe look to see if your national or provincial Government has a web site or ask PetalsandCoco.

    The cookware shouldn't be any problem and yes Mauviel cookware is very nice. I wouldn't want a bunch of it but with select pieces it really is a joy to cook with and would make a nice gift.

    Dave
     
  5. ntosaj

    ntosaj

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    I think if the took my Jamon...I would actually cry lol And ugh! Tell me about it, the ammount of times I've been camping in the US and your lovely border security has stolen my produce and even my mum's pound of bologna (I'm actually kind of grateful for that one come to think of it) is quite ridiculous!

    So I'm kinda salivating on the Mauviel right now, any specific suggestions? I don't have a copper bowl yet so I was figuring that or a sauce pan. The double-boiler might be a bit too pricey, not to mention huge lol
     
  6. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Mauviel makes a lot of small pieces so I would just pick something that fits your style (and a suitcase). The crepe pans, butter pans and small windsor pots are nice as well as the bowls and sugar sauce pans.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  7. ntosaj

    ntosaj

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    Great! Absolutely excellent! Now I just have to see if there is a retailer anywhere sufficiently central for her to visit, any suggestions?

    So many choices!

    Thanks again!

    Nick
     
  8. duckfat

    duckfat

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  9. jimbo68

    jimbo68

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  10. ntosaj

    ntosaj

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    You guys are amazing! Thanks! Now I just have to go through their stuff as sadly I won't be going in person this year!
     
  11. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I have quite a few pieces of Mauviel copper cookware; most of that is M'Heritage 250, and I like it more than any other cookware I've ever used. 

    It's beautiful and extremely well made.  It's also very expensive (even in France), and very heavy.  Be aware thought, that the world's best copper cookware -- and if ours isn't, it's pretty darn close -- doesn't cook better than decent tri-ply.  The same is true for Mauviel stainless. It's beautiful, extremely well made (none better!), and -- in my opinion -- also overpriced. 

    Every cook should visit E. Dehellerin as a tourist destination.  As a place to buy expensive cookware, it runs expensive, although you can get pretty good prices on their own brands -- think of it as a sort of uber Sur La Table, and you won't be far wrong.  If -- for whatever reason -- you want top of the line, European cookware (like the best Mauviel), there are probably better places to buy.  For instance, I understand that you can get great deals on Belgian stuff in Belgium; discounts good enough to make buying without a US guaranty worth it.  There may be some places in Paris as well, but I can't give you specific recommendations.  I vaguely remember some old threads here, perhaps you can find one.

    Tell your GF, "bon voyage."

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  12. grantmasterflas

    grantmasterflas

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    I don't agree with the previous poster that Mauviel at E dehilerin is expensive. Yes, it's expensive but not as much as buying say Al Clad or Mauviel in the states. 

    Here's the trick to Mauviel from E dehilerin. 

    Figure out what you want. I swear by the 11" fry pans and any of the sauce pans. I have a 9.5" saute pan and a smaller fry pan and neither ever get used. They were a waste of money. 

    Then go to E dehilerin with an extra 21" rolling suitcase to make sure they fit and buy them. They'll package it up and you can pick them up the next day. 

    They will give you a receipt for customs. Go to the airport and take that receipt to the customs window and they'll give you resulting paperwork which you drop in the mailbox in the airport and e Dehilerin will refund to your card your sales tax which is quite large (around 18%).

    Then check your bag with the pans in it. Perhaps you should take half the pans out and distribute them with your other bag of clothes and check both so they're under the weight limit.

    There is no problem entering the US with copper pans up to $1200 I think. Canada I don't know about. I can't imagine it would be different. 

    The other alternative is to have them ship it to you but then you have to pay for air freight which has run me about $100 for a few pans. Still worth it over buying local but I'd rather keep the $100.

    If you do this you will pay 1/2 the cost of Al Clad or buying Mauviel from Sur la Table or Williams Sonoma and unlike the latter you actually get the real stuff.
     
  13. ntosaj

    ntosaj

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    Hmmmm so what would you recommend as the most worthwhile piece to buy? I mean we are still on a student budget but throwing a bit more money into a souvenir that is prime quality stuff is probably worth it! As far as I can see the prices for Mauviel stuff is high but reasonable with some of the lower quality cookware being available at 40 euro or so. From looking at American sites and even worse, Canadian sites it seems way worth buying it over there.

    Is there one affordable piece that you in particular tend to use most of find to be the most useful? I'd thought of a copper bowl for egg whites or perhaps a small saucepan for cooking sensitive stuff?

    And finally BDL, I sent your message via text and her immediate reply was: "Dit lui merci!!"

    ps. If I understand correctly they have in-house brands of copper cookware, worth getting or is this the kind of thing where you pretty much only get Mauviel?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  14. ntosaj

    ntosaj

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    Grant what would have been you least expensive but most useful piece? Probably just going for 1, student budget you know! One shouldn't be too hard for my sweetheart to fit it into her luggage, she's a light traveler anyway, she did 2 weeks in Korea with me on standby with only a carry-on, same amount of time in Europe with an extra luggage and I'm sure she'll be fine!
     
  15. grantmasterflas

    grantmasterflas

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    I use my 11" fry pans most. Enough so that I bought a second one on another trip. I use my 9.5" sauce pan and the medium one second most but I think I could probably use other types of cookware for those purposes. I'm sure either of my enameled cast iron dutch ovens would suffice in most situations where I use my sauce pans. 

    Sur la Table has their own copper cookware for cheap, don't buy it. To work well copper has to be thick (otherwise heat transfers too fast and your pan gets really sensitive). If they make the pan lighter for home cooks then you lose the benefit. If you make it heavy you need to have a nice long wide handle like Mauviel so you can support the pan with your arm.  Sur la Table makes a cheap pan with a small dainty handle. Not only is it not as thick but the handle is hard to grasp. Williams Sonoma has their own design of Mauviel cookware that's thinner and has lighter brass handles with the idea that they're cutting down on weight everywhere. Same problem. In their case they charge as much as the original. 

    I recommend going with Mauviel extra thick (not table service pans) and getting it from e Dehilerin. Every time I go to Paris I pick something up. I've bought from them just about every way possible now.
     
  16. ntosaj

    ntosaj

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    Ok so extra thick mauviel, real deal, 11 inch pan is your recommendation, noted! But doesn't E. Dehillerin produce its own brand of copper pots and such? I was under that impression...are they any good?

    As for all these references to "Sur La Table"m they're lost on me, I've never shopped there in my life. I just now checked the website but do they actually have real stores in the states or what? Seem to be pretty popular as this isn't the first time they've been mentioned on the forum.

    Other foreign stuff. Has anyone ever heard of falcon enamelware in the UK?
     
  17. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I wouldn't pay full price for the Williams Sonoma Mauviel but I still have one of those and if you can find them on close out then GRAB them! They are a great value on sale if you can still find them. AFAIK that series was discontinued. I don't own any of the SLT Mauviel but it's heavier than the WS stuff. I'd still suggest waiting for a sale and SLT has had some smokin deals on their Mauviel in the past. SLT does have free standing stores in the US.

     What series of Mauviel I would buy would be based on the use of the product. The heavier the better on sauce and larger stock pots. For butter pots, sugar pots or small sauce pots the thinner series are more cost effective and function perfectly. I trust your trying to be fairly reasonable when you are asking for a gift from your GF. While Mauviel is expensive (the better stuff usually is) I would think it's not all about price as much as getting something unique from Paris that shouldn't break the bank if you choose the right piece. Mauviel is not the most expensive copper ware but no copper is exactly cheap today.  I'd avoid the house brands as you won't be there to see the item unless you want to give her the suggestion for a small copper sauce pot and leave her to her best judgment. Sometimes the best gifts come with out any expectation.

    I would suggest sticking with SS lined pots with any series if at all possible. 

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  18. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I'd swear I said you could get a good deal on Dellerehin's "house brand" products.  I don't know if their 2.5 mm Cuprinox is worse, better, a re-branded version of  Mauviel L'Heritage 250, or anything else.  They certainly look the same on the net; but I don't have enough information to speculate. 

    Assuming the pieces are the same or equal, including my 15% professional discount at SLT, and subtracting 18% VAT from, Dellerehin's, Dellerehin's prices are better by around 15% -- not including shipping or any weight penalty you might have to pay for bringing it back in your suitcase.

    Not counting lids, we have (I think) eight pieces of Mauviel 250 "Cuprinox" copper, including three skillets, a straight sided "saute," a splayed sauce pan, and three other sauce pans.  We also have other pieces of Mauviel copper, including a paellera, an unlined beating bowl, a couscouserie, etc., although from different lines.  Which reminds me, I want -- nay, must have -- a copper butter warmer.

    If you do decide to go with stainless lined, 2.5mm copper, be aware that it's VERY heavy.  The weight makes the skillets challenging to toss turn -- probably impossible for most women -- and they're also comparatively slow (aka "unresponsive") to preheat and change temps compared to lighter cookware.  Don't get me wrong... I love ours for their quality, beauty, as well as the way they work; and wouldn't trade trade for anything else I've ever used.  But (a) I've got very strong hands; and (b) you should be aware that heavy, stainless lined copper has its drawbacks.    

    By way of comparison, we have three De Buyer "Mineral" skillets (going from 8" to 12.6"), which are heavy (ugly) carbon steel.  They work as well as the Mauviel for most things, and can be better or worse than the Mauviel for a few others.  They're considerably more responsive than the copper Mauviel, lighter, and about 60% less expensive.   

    Most of our really big skillets and sauce pans are All-Clad, for the weight and price savings.  And again, they function as well as the heavy Mauviel copper, are more responsive and are easier to manipulate.  From a purely practical standpoint, the Mauviel does nothing better than the All-Clad.  Ours were all purchased on sale, but I believe the retail difference is something like 30%.

    If I were looking only for value and performance AND if I were free to disregard my wife's opinion; I'd probably have gone for Vollrath Tribute for the core set of stainless cookware.  But beauty does count for a lot, and thank God my teammate's opinion is a very important part of the decision making.  In a universe which didn't include joint, matrimonial enabling and impulse purchasing we might have ended up with 2.0mm stainless lined copper from Belgium.  Quien sabe?

    If you're only buying one piece, it might be a good idea to buy something with presentation value (i.e. goes "stove to table") to really take advantage of copper's beauty.

    Bottom Line:

    Highest recommendation for the Mauviel, but know what you're getting into. 

    BDL
     
  19. jimbo68

    jimbo68

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    Dehellerin has their own house brand.  I have heard that Mauviel currently makes the Dehllerin, but I could not verify.  I have both, and they are very similar, but all of mine are old.  Dehellerin has been around for way over 100 years.

    As for which piece to buy, since this is a semi budget purchase, I would look for whatever appeals and represents the best buy,  Any high quality cookware is useful for me.
     
  20. duckfat

    duckfat

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