Results tagged bread from David Lebovitz

My Crack Baguette

baguette

A woman who writes highly-regarded bread books recently contacted me. She’s coming to Paris, to ask me some questions about various bakeries and their baguettes, and which I liked. I wrote her back, that I didn’t want to sound like a dick, but when you live in Paris, you usually buy your bread from the local boulanger (there are four within a block of my apartment) rather than slogging through packed métro stations, being shoved from side-to-side en route or sitting next to some teenage yakking and tapping madly on their iPhone (pronounced EE-phone), and making two or three connections to get to some charming little bread bakery only to find out that they’re closed that day, for a fermature exceptionnelle…from 1:37 pm to 4:06 pm…every forth Wednesday of months ending in “e”.

I hate to have that whiff of “I’m over it, missy” air about me, but if I have a four hours to kill, I’m not inclined to spend a that time crossing Paris in search of a loaf of bread. Not that there aren’t breads worthy of taking a trip like that, but if I have four hours to kill, I need to spend it doing something useful—like I did yesterday, when I used those few hours to go to three different supermarkets to find the lait frais demi-écrémé which I use in my morning coffee.

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Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking and Shopping

A number of folks consult the site for information about Paris, but it’s always best to get some second opinions. So I asked a few friends and in-the-know colleagues about their favorite places around the city, and I’m happy to share them with you.

paris

Included are links, when available, for complete addresses and additional contact information. Hours change and places close in Paris without notice so it’s best to call first before visiting. For restaurants and wine bars where food is served, reservations are strongly advised.

If there any Paris favorites that you’d like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments. I’d love to hear about them.

lucques olives


Favorite Outdoor Market

“Paris markets are one of my favorite subjects. I can go to the same market every day of the year and still always find something new. I regularly visit the boulevard Raspail market, a “regular” market Tuesday and Friday, organic (and expensive!) on Sunday. The fish merchants there are incredible on all days, and I adore the poultry people at the Tuesday and Friday market. I love testing one fish market or cheese stand against the other, grading them on each purchase. For 20 years I lived near the rue Poncelet market and still have a soft spot there, especially for Alléosse cheese and coffee beans from Brûlerie des Ternes.”

“When I have time, I also love the President Wilson market on Wednesday and Saturday, where of course one finds the famed produce from Joël Thiebault but also wonderful fish, fresh crêpes, and Lebanese specialties. The market is near my dentist’s office so I always schedule a Wednesday morning appointment.”

Patricia Wells, of Patricia Wells.com
(Author: Bistro Cooking and The Paris Cookbook)

Favorite Steak Tartare

“As an American in France, getting into the French staple of steak tartare means getting past it’s resemblance to an uncooked hamburger patty. At Les Fines Gueules (2, rue la Vrillière, 1st) near place des Victoires they have cap-and-gowned the French standard by hand chopping Limousin beef (the best in France) and tossing the raw meat with white truffle oil, parmesan and sun dried tomatoes. Certainly not a traditional preparation, but an unbelievably delicious part of this American’s weekly diet.”

Braden, of Hidden Kitchen

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Bazin Bakery

Le Pain

This probably isn’t the kind of bread that visitors come to Paris to experience, and while I like baguettes, I really, really crave breads loaded with grains. So when I was recently in Bazin to pick up my usual Bazinette aux Graines (seeded baguette), I noted a rack of these loaves lined up in the corner.

As usual, I was waited on by my favorite saleswomen. And I have to admit that her and I have a certifiable crush on each other and we always find more things to talk about than bread. When it’s my turn, we make googly-eyes at each other and engage in small talk like teenagers in love, oblivious to the long line of customers growing behind me.

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Noël

bûche de noël

I couldn’t let the year end without a little reportage about Christmas this year. You heard about my last-minute scramble to find the World’s Most Expensive Pastry Bag, which is now safely stored away in my Safe Deposit Box for next year.

cheese Christmas dinner

There’s a joke that the only bad thing about Paris is that it’s full of Parisians. I’m not going to comment on that, but Paris pretty much empties out, and is glorious time to stay in town. Also Christmas is taken pretty seriously around here. It’s considered a close, family holiday and even though the big department stores have spectacular window displays, Christmas hasn’t been overtly commercialized and kids are content when la grande-mère hands them a bag of fresh clementines, and don’t throw tantrums if they don’t get the latest version of the impossible-to-get video game. At least in my French famille.

The only tantrums being thrown were by me, making my Bûche de Noël, which I’ll get to in a bit.

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Why They Call It pain

Warning: A baguette may be dangerous to your health

Ouch!




My Baguette is Back!

baguette

Disappointment can take many forms.

Some people are unhappy with their lawmakers. Others experience unemployment, infidelity, natural disasters, wrongful arrest, declining stock prices, or social injustices.

And then there’s the poor folks that face cultural challenges on a daily basis, and have to deal with disagreeable bank tellers, reams of bureaucratic paperwork, and a France Telecom form promising a refund, but with absolutely no information on where to return it to.

Me?

I’ve got bigger problems around here. Much bigger.

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Du Pain et des Idées

croissants

I am so glad I’m not on a low-carb diet. If I was, I’d have to move.

Seriously—if I couldn’t eat bread, I would shrive up and die. The only thing keeping me from doing that is constant hydrating myself with wine. Luckily, that’s another one of the other things around here that I don’t need to avoid.

Yet.

When I told Romain’s mom that we didn’t have bakeries in the US like they have in France, she couldn’t believe it.

Ooohh?…” she wondered aloud, “So where does everyone get their bread every day?”

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Squirrel Bread

I can’t remember the last time I saw a real, live squirrel.

Yes, yes, I know. I live a city. But when I go out into the French countryside I just don’t see them there either. I never realized how much I missed the little rascals until I was back for a visit to the states and there were hoards of squirrels going about their business everywhere, from the wilds of Central Park to the streets of San Francisco.

Pain Ecureuil

French people when they go to the states, on the other hand, don’t miss squirrels. They miss bread.

Fresh bread is a given, an integral part of life in France and lining up daily at your local boulangerie is just another task one does during the course of your day. For me though, it’s a little more complicated. I’m no longer content to get the bread from the bakery just across the street from me and I’ll spend half a day hunting down grainy breads near and far, a type of bread I’m hopelessly partial to.

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