Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Can't Get to Paris? There's Always Euro Food Depot

I do wish I were in Paris now just to go food shopping before Christmas and New Year's. I've never been there this time of year but my fantasy is that the food shops are bursting with special delicacies that would make me even crazier with joy than I have been on past visits when nothing especially momentous was going on.

So, when my friend Stephanie Thompson sent me a note about a new place selling European foodstuff that just opened in Sorrento Valley/Mira Mesa I made a point of hightailing it over there to get a fix. Euro Food Depot, however, is only passingly a shop with a physical location. It's working its way into becoming the online gourmet food retailer its owners intend, but that won't happen until January. In the meantime (and probably once or twice a month once the site launches), the owners have set up a little delicatessen-style shop for locals in a warehouse. And that's where I found most of San Diego's French expats last Saturday.




The owners, Franck Danglard and Fabien Faucheux, have been in San Diego for years; Faucheux has been in the food and beverage industry, while Danglard has owned a variety of local businesses. Danglard's wife, Sandrine, explained that the goal is to get in the neighborhood of 600 delicatessen products--cheeses, sausages and other meats, seafood, condiments, candies, cookies, cakes, and beverages--to market at discount prices. In fact, many of the products I saw--they've got about 200 products in so far--can be found at other local shops and online, but Sandrine said that as a warehouse they can sell these products for much less than their competitors.

"We think we're about 20 percent or more cheaper than Whole Foods or Bristol Farms," she said.

Bernard'O's chef Patrick Ponsaty made a foie gras au torchon that Euro Food Depot is selling. And, there are the familiar pink boxes of nearby Opera Patisserie's light and lovely macarons. Sandrine noted that they're going to be on the hunt for other products made locally that can be included in their list of wares. Additionally, they welcome requests for products--and hope to be able to fulfill them with enough interest from customers.

So, what will you find? I'm basically going to give you an idea visually. Don't drool.









Enjoy these pommes dauphine sauteed in rendered duck fat, which Euro Food Depot also sells.



I picked up a bottle of French olive oil and white wine vinegar. The prices were quite good. I also came home with a trio of sheep, goat, and cow cheeses--La Vache de Chalais, Crottin de Champcol, and Perail Papillon--along with cured duck salami and a smooth rillettes de porc, both from Fabrique Delices.



Of course, you need cornichons to accompany them. These are Lutece brand and wonderfully crunchy and vinegary.



Euro Food Depot emphasizes French products, but you can find a variety of other European foods, like Spanish paprikas and rice, de Ceco egg noodles, and a good variety of dried beans. Not surprisingly, you can pick up containers of whole chestnuts, chestnut puree, and chestnut spread. There are chocolates, mustards, aioli, flavored syrups, crackers, sodas, dried forest muchrooms, escargot stuffed with garlic butter, truffle butter and oils, olives, and duck gizzards. Sandrine loves these sauteed in butter and topped on a salad for a Salad Landaise, a specialty of Southwest France. Slice some fresh pate to spread on toast and you've got a great meal.

Euro Food Depot will be open Wednesday, Dec. 23 and Wednesday, Dec. 30 so you can pick up treats for Christmas and New Year's. Then, stay tuned for their online launch in the new year, and their monthly Saturday store opportunities.

Euro Food Depot is located at 6370 Lusk Blvd., off of Mira Mesa Blvd. The phone number is 858-452-9200. You can also reach them at sales@eurofooddepot.com.

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