I blew our budget at this weekend's Made in France/Village Imports warehouse sale, held in "where am I?" Brisbane, a few minutes south of SF. Rather than carry and use a calculator, as one pair of chatty French women did, I decided to make my coffee and lunch every day for the next month, so I could spend more money at the warehouse. (I've since been to Philz Coffee once since making this hollow promise). In my mind, a seventy-five dollar budget became hundreds more. I felt like my version of a Vegas gambler re-juggling funds like that, and was amped by the excitement of being surrounded by cheese, wine, oils, chocolate, and so many specialty items. Leaving work early has never been so fun.
The Made in France/Village Imports sale happens a few times a year. They open their vast (and chilly) warehouse to the public, with discount prices on chi-chi foodie items. Most of the items are French, with a sprinkling from Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland.
For me, the cooler was the most exciting place to be. I grabbed two duck breasts immediately, and stepped my way around the other shoppers in the cooler. I shivered with indecision weighing a leg of prosciutto versus a 3 1/2 pound link of beautiful soppresseta. Because the prosciutto was from Canada rather than Italy, I snootily left it behind. At $9.50 a pound, I didn't want to experiment. I snapped up a bouche d'affinois log of cheese that turned out to be creamy, smooth, luscious, and perfect for spreading on Acme levain bread. Two six ounce packs of mousse and pate would be a better choice than the huge 2 pound log. Oscar and I can eat a lot and we like to share with others, but 2 pounds is pushing it. A choice of one each of bleu and goat cheese rounded things out.
My one alcohol purchase was Le Village hard cider, a steal at $3 a bottle. There are also cases of wine and champagne available, perfect for holiday parties and everyday drinking. The clerk warned me, "Some people don't realize how much things are, until they get up here. Then they ask, 'eight hundred dollars? Where did it all go?' " Be warned: it does add up. But you won't be sorry.
Sign up for notice of the next warehouse sale by emailing: OpenWarehouse@villageimports.net . See you at the next sale!
Made in France/Village Imports, 211 South Hill Drive, Brisbane, CA 94005.