Poilâne Miche in Singapore
When I walked into a deli shop in Singapore three weeks ago, I had no idea this was what I was going to see:
Poilâne Miche air-flown from Paris to Singapore
You could imagine my astonishment. The store is called Culina Gourmet Boutique at Dempsey Hill, which is in a trendy part of Singapore, full of exciting new restaurants. The miche is air-flown weekly into Singapore on Thursdays. It was Monday when I bought it, so it could have been 5 days old or longer from when it was baked. A quarter of the 2kg miche sold for S$14.00 (equiv. to A$11.60 or US$10.20). The miche was too dry for my family's taste (even after being toasted and eaten with the best French butter):
Poilâne Miche about 5 days old (or longer)
As a trip to Paris was unlikely any time soon, I figured it would be my best chance to sample the Poilâne miche right there and then in Singapore. This was part of my quest for the best flavoured miche.
I rang the store on the morning of the following Thursday to see when it would be available at the store as I wanted to have it as fresh as possible. I was told early that afternoon but when I rang again late afternoon that day, I was informed that the miche was still clearing the Customs. I eventually got it the next morning. I brought my kids there so they could have a drink of something at the store while I took photos undisturbed quickly before taking my dreamed bite - the journey back to where we stayed would just be unbearable. The store's sales assistant was kind enough to slice the miche for me using their ham slicer:
Poilâne Miche about 48 hours old (or longer)
From the picture above, the miche actually looked quite good. But, it still tasted very dry to me (see below for close-ups):
These slices have the same look about them as those taken by Eric of Breadtopia.com from my Poilâne post HERE early this year. I read that the flavour of Poilâne miche reached its prime from day three onwards. I wonder if aircraft and flying have adverse effects on the flavour of fresh bread.
I once asked my Buddhist teacher why I was so fixated about something and never learnt from my mistakes. She said, "Grasshopper, that's because the wisdom you gained each time from your failures was not firm." Bad translation, but I think she meant that I learnt some lessons each time in my life's quest but that what I have learnt was not firm enough to prevent me from making the same mistakes over and over again in a different form.
I would like to share something with you that I posted on Sourdough.com in May. It was about a miche that I had in Sydney from Sonoma Bakery in Sydney's trendy suburb, Paddington. I had to go to Sydney for a concert on that day - Ashkenazy conducted Sydney Symphony Orchestra which performed Mahler's Symphony No. 5.
HERE was the post if you are interested.
Food is perishable sooner or later. Nothing can beat fresh food. When food is fresh, dressing is just decoration that you can do without. That's why home bakers have such advantages compared to even the best bakeries in town. Most home bakers are too humble to admit that. There are exceptions and, for me, Sonoma Bakery in Sydney is one such exception. I am fortunate to have come across Sonoma Bakery in my quest for a perfect miche.