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Ode to the baker down the street

August 28, 2009
My baker's bread. No artificial preservatives here!

My baker's bread. No artificial preservatives here!

Bread is just more important in France. (Period.) There really are bread shops everywhere (All the stories are true), and most people in Paris buy their bread fresh daily.

What people in the U.S. don’t realize is that there are a few tiers of bread-making in Paris.

3. There’s the Franprix / Monoprix breads, which are barely a cut above what you’ll find in American supermarket bakeries. (These are indeed supermarket brands of bread.)

2. Midorée at Paul breads. These are generally good, but often pricier than regular boulangers, and they don’t necessarily meet French bread standards.

1. Actually boulangeries. These are the breadmakers you’ve heard so much about. Their bread is aromatic, crusty (in a good way), and baked fresh at least three times a day.

The boulanger down our street belongs to tier #1. He’s a large man who always smiles when I ask for a baguette (which, incidentally, means “stick” — the word for bread is pain, but baguettes come in long wands, which is where they get their name). Mainly, I adore his bread because when I buy it, it is almost always warm, and has the perfect texture.

Sadly, I’m moving away from this boulanger. I’ll be in the U.S. for a while, and after that I’ll keep you all in touch, but in the meanwhile, I felt that I needed to memorialize the maker of the best bread I’ve ever tasted. Ever. So long boulangerie. I’ll miss you.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dad permalink
    August 28, 2009 3:35 pm

    Hi Kate – the bread is good but a distant second to the pastries! 🙂

    • katedarnell permalink
      August 28, 2009 3:37 pm

      I have to agree, Dad! I’ll miss those pains au chocolat!

      • August 28, 2009 6:52 pm

        Pains au chocolat. I like that. I think that’s what I’ll start calling it whenever I eat too much chocolate and get a stomach ache. 🙂

        The English word for bread seems to come from nowhere. Everywhere else (well, everywhere else that we have stolen words from) has something similar to pain. (Spanish = pan)

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