The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pictures from Paris, part 2

Floydm's picture

Pictures from Paris, part 2

Actually a few of these are from Montpellier too, like the first few:

Macarons are all the rage.

This bakery had the dark baguettes set aside for people like me who like them that way.



alabubba's picture

I am drooling on my keyboard.

dmsnyder's picture

So much bread. So little time. 

So, did you have any gibassiers while in their natural habitat? If you missed them, the ones The Pearl Bakery makes are pretty darn good.


Floydm's picture

I did not see them over there.  I love the ones from Pearl Bakery though... I have one at least once a week!

arlo's picture

Thanks for sharing pics of what seemed to be an extraordinary time! I love the pic of all the macaroons! It's like a tasty rainbow!

BellesAZ's picture

For whatever reason, Macaron's have been wildly popular in Paris for years.  There is one Parisian bakery that sells over 800 every day.  Go figure.  Not my favorite cookie, but the French love it.

I'm happy you gave equal, yet ample time to the viennoiserie baked items during your Parisien excursion.  I hope you were able to catch the many other wonders of France while you were there.. and bakeries were just the "le glacage sur le gateau"!

dstroy's picture

We had some in Montpellier and I wasn't terribly impressed, but then we had some other ones from the bakery around the corner in Paris and those were amazing!

We had plenty of awesome local wines and cheeses while we were there. Actually, with the heat wave we were experiencing, the one thing we all sampled most were different kinds of ice creams.

wally's picture

Both sets!  It's amazing to see the differences in French bakeries compared to the typical ones here.  Europe just seems to have so much more developed a bread culture than we do.  You must have felt like the proverbial kid in the candy shop!

Thanks for sharing.


BellesAZ's picture

These types of bakeries exist everywhere.. Australia has fantastic bakeries in almost every neighborhood market center and I've even seen them in Asia and Africa.    There are bakeries like this in Chicago and New York and other big cities, but not on every street corner, sadly.  Everything is compressed into plastic bags and shoved in some tight space at a massive Walmart or other grocery store.

In the US, we have high density populations that are spread out.  Our culture promotes driving a car since neighborhoods are really a thing of the past.  Sure, we have neighbors and we live in sub divisions, but there is no flavor, culture or personality to them.  No one wants to drive to the supermarket and then drive to a bakery to pick up their baked goods.  Neighborhoods in the US have zoning regulations and they are not designed to promote these types of businesses from existing.

In neighborhoods like in Paris, Melbourne, etc.. neighborhoods are high density and each neighborhood has it's own personality and its own shopping areas.  Everything is within walking distance and supermarkets haven't really taken hold yet.  The pace is still slower than in America and the job market still encourages and educates bakers and butchers, etc.  Convenience and speed isn't as important as comfort and recognition to your neighbors. 

When I lived in Melbourne, I'd walk to the shops and I had to go to the butcher, the baker, the fruitologist and then to the little grocery market for all other items.  At first when I moved there, I was annoyed and insisted on driving the car.  Well, I quickly realized that I wasn't buying groceries or food for a week, I was only buying it for a day.. so I didn't need the car!  I bought a large shopping bag and small trolley and learned to relax and chat up the baker while the butcher came outside with a string of smoked sausages for my dog that would walk with me.

Now, if I ask my butcher at the supermarket to grind a pork roast for me into sausage, he looks at me as if I've come from the planet Mars.  To call them butchers is a stretch and an insult to butchers.  LOL

I miss that... not only do those pictures bring back fond memories, but they make me rather sad that these traditions have long gone in America. 

hanseata's picture

That's exactly the reason why I'm glad we moved from Bangor to Bar Harbor. After relocating from Germany to Maine my daughter and I put on weight right away - no more walking or biking to shops or school as we were used to do. Having to drive everywhere - and no small shops - one supermarket is just like the other - and then the squishy tasteless wonderbreads in their plastic bags that keep forever thanks to all the added "goodies".

Small bakeries like those Floyd visited (thanks for sharing the experience, Floyd) don't only provide great goods, but they look and smell so appetizing, too.

My husband spent all his childhood summers in Venice/Italy. At every corner there used to be a pasticcheria with beautiful, delicious little concoctions - all gone now, instead there are boutiques and shops that sell masks "made in Hong Kong"...





BellesAZ's picture

It's still common to find great shops and local bakeries, butchers, etc.. in large cities like NYC, but those neighborhoods are disappearing fast.  I had to walk a mile one way to the shops and a mile back and I did it daily.  Hahaha.. you don't realize how much better you feel until you wake up one day and say, "Wow!"  I really hate going to grocery stores to buy breads and just refuse to do it now.  That's one reason I bake alot on my own. 

I grew up with home baked breads and I remember going to school and being jealous of the "rich kids" because they had Wonder bread sandwiches and I felt very poor because my mother baked our bread.  I will admit.. there still is something yummy about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a slice of it.. hehehe.   

SylviaH's picture

You must be having a fantastic time.  I really enjoy the photos.  I've been gone for the weekend with my kids and grandkids and have some catching up to do.


Floydm's picture

We had a great time and ate very well. :)

Paddyscake's picture

was a gustatory delight you shared! Sweets, cheeses, breads and I'm sure a little wine..Thanks for sharing the "Mann's Excellent Adevntures"! both foods and sights!


rayel's picture

Wow! A feast for the eyes. Great pictures, Thanks.  Ray