ARTICLE

The French Pantry: basics you should always have at home

Valentine Benoist By Valentine Benoist, Editor 18.10.2021
The French Pantry: basics you should always have at home
In this article
Sel de Guérande

Fleur de sel de Guérande sea salt PGI

Sauces & condiments
See the article
Chocolate

Bars of dark cooking chocolate

Sweet products
See the article
Butter

PDO Poitou-Charente Butter

Dairy products
See the article
Muscadet

Muscadet PDO

Wine and spirits
See the article
Bandol

Bandol wine PDO

Wine and spirits
See the article
Champagne

Champagne

Wine and spirits
See the article
Chinon on purple background

Chinon PDO

Wine and spirits
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Chateauneuf

Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC

Wine and spirits
See the article
Rosette

Rosette de Lyon Sausage

Meat products
See the article
Gewurzstraminer

Alsace Gewurztraminer AOC

Wine and spirits
See the article
Corbieres

Corbières AOC

Wine and spirits
See the article

Even if you’re not much of a home cook, there are some French food staples you should always have at hand to jazz up your daily recipes. Here a few of our personal favourites. 

Dijon mustard 

The French way: in vinaigrette and mayo, with meat, in sandwiches… A condiment from the Burgundy region, PGI Dijon mustard is essential to literally everything French food!
The British twist: for an extra kick, spread Dijon mustard in your toastie, or add it to your full French breakfast.  
Where to find it: widely available in supermarkets

Coquillettes 

The French way: Kid’s favourite, the coquillettes-jambon-beurre is a French institution. Small shell macaroni pasta, ham and a generous knob of melting butter — if you’re in luck, you may also get a handful of grated emmental cheese in there too. 
The British twist: try it with some ham hock or swap the emmental for cheddar!
Where to find them: Ocado

A good saucisson 

The French way: a classic charcuterie for apéro, it’s best enjoyed au naturel, thinly sliced with bread, butter and cornichon for a much welcome acidity. 
The British twist: think crackers and small, crunchy pickles instead of the bread and cornichons association. 
Where to find it: widely available, but it’s always best to get the artisan ones from your local French deli, with a natural casing — like this Basque Jésus from Provisions in London. 

Fleur de sel 

The French way: from the salt marshes of Guérande or Camargue, these salt flakes are the delicate final touch, always bringing this little je ne sais quoi when sprinkled on a dish. 
The British twist: try adding a pinch of salt to all your traditional desserts — it truly brightens up an apple crumble or a sticky toffee pudding. Proof is this chocolate lava cake recipe
Where to find it: Fine Food Specialist, Ocado

Wine 

The French way: obviously, no French pantry would be complete without wine. Used for cooking and drinking alike, it’s impossible not to have at least one bottle of red and one chilled white waiting to be cracked open. Classic uses include a well-deserved glass at the end of the day or an impromptu Muscadet drunken mussels kind of evening. 
The British twist: how about pimping your steak and ale pie with beef bourguignon vibes? Follow your usual recipe, but simmer the beef in red wine instead! 
Where to find it: French wine is everywhere! For a cracking selection of French wines delivered throughout England, head over to restaurant institution St. John’s own label, featuring twelve different cuvées sourced across France. 

Country Bread
Country Bread
PDO Poitou-Charente Butter
PDO Poitou-Charente Butter
See Recipe