Around Paris: 1st: Mora and La Bovida

28 01 2010

The more famous Dehillerin (best known, to Americans at least, as Julia Child’s favorite cookware store in Paris) may be just around the corner, but the tourists can keep the dark, cramped aisles and mysterious pricing system for themselves.  I’ll be where the professionals shop.

La Bovida

On the corner of rue Etienne Marcel and rue Montmartre stands La Bovida.  Its three floors (ok, two and a half) house all kinds of kitchenware, mainly aimed at commercial kitchens, although the shop is open to the public.  Right inside the door a large selection of heavy-duty pots and pans hang overhead and the shelves are filled with professional-grade appliances and bulk containers of spices.  Further back you will find more small appliances as well as a wall stocked with a multitude of knives and kitchen gadgets.  Upstairs on the landing resides the selection of barware and glasses.  This is one of the few places in Paris I’ve seen big wine glasses – you know the ones.  Personally, I prefer drinking wine, especially nice wine, out of a big glass.  (And no, I don’t necessarily mean drink more of it, I just like having that extra swirling and sniffing room.)  On the top floor is everything else: dishes, silverware, Le Creuset, to-go packaging, cook’s uniforms, cookbooks, pastry gear, and those 7-layer copper Mauviel sauté pans that I pine after.

Mora

Across the rue Montmartre lies the smaller, but no less exciting, Mora.  Mora is also geared toward culinary professionals, but certainly caters more to the pâtissiers and chocolatiers.  The front of the shop displays Staub cookware, silicone molds, glassware, knives, and a selection of serious cookbooks (when I say serious, I mean big and expensive, and textbooks).  Further back is more of that gorgeous Mauviel, as well as a wall lined with frying pans and crèpe pans of all sizes.  I couldn’t resist picking up an 8 euro crèpe pan, seeing as La Chandeleur is almost upon us – La Chandeleur being the crèpe making and eating holiday which technically is on February 2nd, but really starts up as soon as the galette-mania dies down and goes for a couple of weeks.  Back at Mora, in the furthest room of the shop, is a treasure trove of pastry and chocolate molds.  Ring molds and tart pans in all shapes and sizes, an array of pastry tips, and chocolate molds galore.  This room makes me want to open up my own chocolaterie.

So which do I prefer?  Bovida is great for the basic stuff, and for things like single-use balsawood loaf pans, aluminum pudding cups, and muffin tin liners (!), but their prices on higher-end items and specialty equipment tend to be higher than those at Mora, sometimes significantly – I saw the same set of Matfer biscuit cutters at both stores, 100 euros at Bovida, 70 at Mora!  My boss prefers the value items at Bovida, and when I said I liked Mora better, he said “c’est parce que c’est pour les intellectuels de la pâtisserie,” which I think he meant as a gentle insult, but which I totally took as a compliment.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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8 responses

29 01 2010
Hannah

I think I’m going to have to avoid both of these places when I visit Paris (so soon, so soon! :P), or else leave my credit card at the hotel! Seeing as I’ll probably have to get rid of my one spare pair of shoes to accomodate the two dresses I just bought, I don’t think being enticed by silicone molds will be good for my tiny suitcase…

But maybe I could just peek. A little peek couldn’t hurt.

29 01 2010
Ann Mah

I detest E. Dehellerin — talk about bad service! I don’t like condescension and I loathe being upsold.

Mora wins my vote, though I also like A. Simon which was the only place I could find cheesecloth during the great cheesecloth hunt of 2008.

29 01 2010
Jessica

The cookware stores that are geared to professionals are always the best in my book! We have Surfas here in Los Angeles. It will probably be years in the making, but whenever I do make it back to Paris, I will stop in on Julia’s store for the sentimental value and then head over to these two stores for the real deal shopping!

30 01 2010
croquecamille

Hannah – A little peek never hurt. ;) And silicone molds are so squishable!

Ann – Where is this A. Simon? Haven’t heard about that one…

Jessica – Good plan! I always used to have a lot of fun in the cookware section of Smart & Final when I lived in SoCal.

31 01 2010
Shira

My personal favourite is also A. Simon, just around the corner on rue Montmarte. There are 2 adjacent shops. They have great frying pans, good prices on knives, pepper grinders and the like, and also have a sharpening service.

1 02 2010
croquecamille

Shira – I’m going to have to check out this A. Simon place! Truly, a very dangerous corner for my bank account, especially with G. Detou across the street…

2 02 2010
Andrea

Jealous! I miss Paris so much, have I told you that? If I ever get lucky enough to move there, can we please be friends? And go to these shops? And eat cheese together? Aaah, Paris.

2 02 2010
croquecamille

Andrea – Yes! Especially the cheese part. :D




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