3 Essential French Baking Products

Nowadays you can find almost anything on the internet and especially on Amazon. As I was preparing the Mothers’ Day Gift Selection post and the Father’s Day post coming out shortly, it dawned on me that I, as a French native, also look for that nostalgic French product I used to use and love and can never find in the store.

Ready to bake a cake? Did you know there are three incontournable products you will find in every French kitchen. One of these little essential products is the famous pink packet of baking powder I grew up with called Alsa – Levure Chimique Alsacienne which seemed to make all the cakes tastes so much better. It comes in a pack of 8 and Each sachet contains about 1 tablespoon of baking powder.

Unlike most American baking powder brands, Alsa is single-acting, which means that it creates the gas needed for leavening as soon as it is mixed with liquid ingredients. The double-acting powders that are common in the U.S. release gas in two stages: first when mixed with liquid ingredients and then when heated.

The Alsa brand was founded in 1897 by Emile Moench, born in Alsace four years after the region had been ceded to Germany following the war of 1870-1871. Moench worked first as an aide cuisinier for the wagons-lit and then went to Vienna to perfect his craft. It was there, working for a baker, that he first came to know of baking powder, then still under development (baking powder was invented by the German August Oetker in 1891).

He took the knowledge with him back to France, where he opened a small fine food shop and sold flans and cakes made with the product. Eventually he opened a factory in Nancy to produce the baking powder commercially. The pink packets have always featured a woman in Alsatian head dress; a stork, symbol of Alsace, also appears at times.

You’ll also need the Alsa – Sucre Vanillé à l’extrait naturel de vanille or vanilla-flavored sugar packet with real vanilla which comes in packs of 12. There are also some vanilla from Tahiti.

And thirdly, don’t forget the subtle flavors and aromas of Fleur d’oranger which is also another basic staple in French kitchens for many goods such as crêpes, cakes, chocolate mousse, gateau Breton, madeleines, and more. Orange flower water is usually made near Grasse with macerated and distilled orange flowers, the capital of French perfumes and scents. This orange flower water by Vahine is imported from France.

Let’s see what other little product do the French miss terribly in the U.S or abroad? Please comment below.

French A LA Carte lips circle





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