At the regular location for Tani Cooking Class (5259 Stevens Creek Blvd.) on Dec. 17 “A Taste of France” was on the menu. It was a retail event for Frenchery, an online French grocery store. Even though the store is tucked away inside Stephens Plaza, a steady stream of customers came through. Merchandise included, but wasn’t limited to, charcuterie (cold meats and sausages), foie gras (liver of fattened duck or goose), pate (a spread that can be made from liver), cheeses, cookies, chocolates, jams and gourmet butter. Free samples of a few of these items were given out at this charming pop-up store.
“Frenchery is an online store; it’s like Amazon but for French foods,” said Remy Brossard, one of the general managers for Frenchery. “And so a lot of our customers ask us do we have a physical store and we don’t. We decided to try doing a pop up store. We know Chef Tani (owner of Tani Cooking Class) and he had suggested that we do it here. We did it for the first time last month just before Thanksgiving. The customers who came in were non-stop. Most of us here are French and we want to share a good time and our love of French food.”
Brossard said that the store’s sausages and charcuterie aren’t unique to French cuisine and can also be found in Italy and Spain. But he considered the store’s varieties of pate and foie gras to be distinctively French ingredients.
“Some customers ask why would you buy a French flour to do baking. I would respond that’s because there’s less gluten and no GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in our French flours,” Brossard said, drawing a distinction between a couple of French foods and non-French foods. “The French butters have more fat. They are creamier and taste different than the other butters in the world. The breed of cows in France that produce dairy are eating grass instead of corn. GMOs are illegal in France as well as giving hormones to cows.”
Jean Baptiste Su, another store manager of Frenchery, elaborated on French butters explaining that the Echire butters are used by all the best French pastry chefs. Su pointed out the Francine brand, which he regarded as a respected French brand that specializes in baking products, such as flour and prepared crepe mixes for sweet or savory meals. Su also explained the significance behind a red label on a jar of Perard’s Wild Fish Soup, a natural seafood soup prepared without preservatives.
“The label ‘Label Rouge’ here is given to French products made in a traditional manner, like how it was done in the old days,” Su said.
Shopping at the Dec. 17 pop up store was Christian LeCocq.
“We are buying things for our Christmas dinner: foie gras, a French cheese called coulommiers—it’s a Brie cheese—and livarot, a strong stinky cheese that is delicious,” LeCocq said.
Frenchery is a regular vendor at local farmers’ markets. Its next pop-up store at Tani Cooking Class will be on Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about Frenchery, including its delivery service, visit www.frenchery.com and www.facebook.com/Frenchery.