7 Things Nearly Every French Cook Has in Her Fridge

updated May 24, 2019
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Vous venez espionner les francais enfait.”

This translates as, “You’ve actually come to spy on the French!” Turns out, when you ask your French friends to tell you what’s in their refrigerators, they think you’ve come to Paris to spy on them. They will also all tell you the same seven things.

Before I get to the list of essentials, a little backstory. I started splitting time between Paris and Brooklyn 11 months ago — spurred by both the impending burnout of living and working and breathing in New York City for eight years, and my desire to live at least part of my life in a place that values good cheese, wine, and bread as much as I do.

Whenever I touch down in Paris, I drop my bags and immediately head to the nearest marché. I end up leaving with the same things (plus a few seasonal treats): cheese, eggs, milk, and butter.

A quick stop in the wine shop gets me stocked in a bottle or three, another at the store rounds me out in mustard (usually a grainy Dijon) and local jam, and one more at the boulangerie assuages the baguette craving that haunts me when I’m in New York.

Turns out, I’ve found my people.

When I started thinking about this piece, I sent out feelers to friends and friends of friends in Paris (cooks and non-cooks alike) and each responded with a shockingly similar list to my “first purchases” list.

7 Things Nearly Every French Cook Has in Her Fridge

  • Du fromage: Cheese
  • Des oeufs: Eggs
  • De la moutarde: Mustard
  • De la confiture: Jam
  • Du beurre: Butter
  • Du lait: Milk
  • Du vin blanc: White Wine

My favorite thing about this list is that, with only seven ingredients (yes, okay, eight, because while bread isn’t refrigerated, most of my friends sought to include it in their lists and I certainly don’t exclude it from mine) you’re stocked to craft a meal that suits any time of day.

So, now that you know what all of us seem to be stocking up on over here in France, what’s on your go-to shopping list?