Paris Bakery

Can’t imagine Paris without a crusty baguette or a flaky croissant? And why should you?

The Bakery

A good Frenchman can’t imagine a city, much less a life, without a bakery. The art of bread baking isn’t for everyone: the name boulangerie in France is reserved for those professional artisans who choose their own ingredients, knead their own dough, and take care of the rising, forming and baking of their bread in the same shop where they sell it. Freezing the ingredients at any point of the process is completely out of the question, and a good Frenchman can smell a “molded” baguette, formed in a mold instead of by hand, a mile away. Bread is sacred in France!

The Star of Bakeries: The Baguette

The baguette is one of France’s best-known international symbols. Paris, in particular, seems synonymous with the baguette, finding its place alongside wine, berets and cheese. The baguette is a long, white loaf of bread with a crispy, golden crust. The crumb inside should be soft and taste nearly eggy, though true baguettes have only four ingredients: yeast, flour, water and salt. A good-quality baguette should bounce back when you press on it. In France, baguette is a breakfast time staple, spread with butter and jam, and sometimes dipped into coffee or hot chocolate. All day long, baguette accompanies pâté and cheese, and a basket of baguette comes to the table at restaurants, to use to sop up sauce and vinaigrette. At home, a loaf of baguette is the table centerpiece, and pieces are ripped off throughout the meal.

Parisians believe that the best baguettes can be found in Paris, and they’re right! It’s tough to find bad bread in Paris. Every year, a prize for the best artisanal baguette in Paris is given according to five criteria: baking, taste, crumb, aroma and physical appearance. The winner becomes the official baker of the Élysée Palace’s bread for one year. There’s no greater honor than serving your baguettes to the President of France!

We’ll leave you with an appropriate proverb: “Pain et beurre et bon fromage, contre la mort est la vray targe.” Which means: bread, butter and good cheese are the true shield against death. And we agree!

Discover the French boulangerie on our Eiffel Tower Food Tour.

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