There is something to be said about being surrounded by all these boulangeries (bakeries), patisseries (pastry shops) and chocolatiers (no need to clarification): you get picky. And not only do you get picky but you really figure out what you do and don’t like. And there are so many of these great places to visit and treats to try that you just need to prioritize ’cause you won’t get it all done. And some things just won’t make the cut. Remember junior high basketball? Sometimes you made the A team, sometimes the B, there might have even been a C team if there were a lot of kids. My Dad used to get all mad because I almost always dressed for the A games but didn’t get a lot of playing time. Just enough so that I couldn’t play in the B games. He would have much rather had me get a lot of playing time than be fortunate to play on the A team but sit on the bench most of the time.
Well, I have had enough time to evaluate the players so here are my rosters:
Pastries? C team. (Berry tarts may, periodically, dress “up” to the B team)
Chocolates? B team (starting players include solid chocolates like chocolate bars and, perhaps, caramels with some sea salt)
Bakeries? A team!!!! (this team includes the majority of baked goods including baguettes, loaves, croissants, brioche, and beignets. All sizes, shapes and flavors.)
I just love bread. And yesterday I experienced a little slice of gluten heaven.
Tom and I ventured out after the school drop off on our way to Montmartre, the area of Paris where the artists, the ones who live that bohemian lifestyle, all hang out. It’s centered by Sacre Coeur, the Roman Catholic basilica designed and built after the most rebellious of times in Paris, the French Revolution. It stands on the highest point in Paris and Tom pretty much kicked my butt as we ascended up through the city. (I took him on the stairs, though.)
We spent a short time inside the basilica and not that it wasn’t beautiful, but that wasn’t my real destination. Oh, no. That belonged to the the bakery run by Gontran Cherrier.
Here is the welcome message on his website:
I have travelled the world for it, to encounter other cultures, other ways to eat it, other flavours.
I have explored other techniques, initiated new methods, conjured up new harmonies, given consideration to our desires and our cravings…
I love bread because it talks to me about us, about you, about everyone, everywhere and for ever.
This is why I invite you to come to my Parisians bakeries to taste every moment in life with the bread of your dreams!
Ah, I love him. I mean, I love his bread. (I did insert a picture of him, but that’s only because I felt it necessary as part of my through research. Right.)
Gontran’s bakery is kicky and fun and filled with all sorts of crazy breads to look at and select. A completely black baguette? Yep. Cuttlefish ink and cumin grains. A kiwi bun? Yep. Little buns filled with the pulp of seasonal fruits and vegetables. That one came home with us as kiwi is on Sarah’s favorite list. She loves it and so did we.
I read about Gontran’s bakery in Bon Appetit. It was highlighted by Dorie Greenspan, the queen of bread, and what she talked about most was his curry bread.
Love it. Still eating it. Can’t get enough of it. It tastes like curry! But it’s bread!
Tom could not be denied the little olive loaf and, as a corn bread lover, I felt obligated to take one of those home, too. Heated up, just a smear of butter and honey. Oh la la. And I don’t say that lightly.
Tom took the train home (poor guy still had to work) and took the loaves with him. I did a bit more meandering and running. I’m not enjoying this tweaking in my left outside ankle which has bothered me since yesterday but only when I walk (which is all the time, but whatever). Perhaps a rest day…or two…or three.
And while I rest, I will eat.
Go Team Bread!