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Michael Jan 16th, 2013 01:50 PM

<i>we are not talking about the artisinale bakeries but the regular mom and pop boulaneries</i>

At least in the Périgord, the local boulangeries are often artisanale; that's the case in Thiviers (on market day, look to see which boulangerie has the long lines on the main square, and only two stores separate the two boulangeries), Excideuil, Thenon, Saint-Geniès, to name only those with which I am familiar. Standard bread is usually available in our local Carrefour Market and the local épicerie which acts as a bread <i>dépot</i>. I'm less familiar with Paris boulangeries, but in at least two neighborhoods (one in the 15th and the other in the 12th) the boulangerie artisanale, and sometimes <i>bio</i> is quite common.

spaarne Jan 16th, 2013 02:33 PM

The Panera in downtown Chicago poisoned me a year ago. Screwed up a day getting it out of my system.

The best French bakery I have found in the USA is C'est Si Bon on Riverside Ave. near PCH in Newport Beach, CA. A young neighbor, originally from Switzerland, worked there and would regularly drop a sack of leftovers at my doorstep in the evening. They only sell fresh goods.

Having lived in Paris I learned that there are good and there are better bakeries. Shop around until you find your heaven.

ira Jan 16th, 2013 03:24 PM

Hey Pal,

>No Ira she is my ex-wife and BELIEVE me she does not say things just to say something nice...<

She has done this to drive you mad.

See "Gaslight". :)


PalenQ Jan 16th, 2013 03:25 PM

Orleans where she lives is an ordinary French town - there are some artisinale bakers but only in the town center - though chains like Port Au Pain (not sure of name) are popping up and I think probably have as good or better bread than the mom and pop bakeries - Orleans is not the Perigord or Dordogne where there are lots of rich foreign residents - yes anyone owning a place in this area is wealthy - no debating that unless they live in a camping car in a camping - and yes thus bakeries cater to this crowd with money who would automatically patronize the bakeries with the finest 'traditionnel' ingredients and even Bio, which my ex-wife also buys from a Bio place by her house - that is very very expensive bread.

But I maintain that the average baguette in average France eaten by average French and not wealthy foreigners is not rocket science and is rather pedestrian.

Michael Jan 16th, 2013 05:39 PM

<i>yes anyone owning a place in this area is wealthy </i>

This is an outrageous generalization, especially when it applies to the local population which is the one keeping the boulangeries in business. The foreigners in the town where we shop tend to shop at the supermarket rather than the local small stores.

StCirq Jan 16th, 2013 06:34 PM

HAHAHA! Pal, you and your "French" friends are hilarious.They don't speak the language, don't know about bread, and seem to be clueless about most everything.

PalenQ Jan 17th, 2013 03:48 AM

This is an outrageous generalization, especially when it applies to the local population which is the one keeping the boulangeries in business>

Well I was referring to the foreigners who own properties not the locals who are they subservient servants and I bet most of them go to a traditional boulangerie and buy the cheapest bread - perhaps from Carrefour or Pat Au Pain. Point being that this area Dordogne and Perigord are not representative of France in general - long a haven of wealthy Brits and local shops yes cater to this well-heeled crowd - and nothing wrong with that.

Moi think St Cirq has never ever bought any bread in a place like Carrefour - that is a sure bet so how can he/she comment on that bread - well I cannot imagine he/she buying bread at a hypermarche. Of course she/he knows more about France and speaks better French than my French friends and relatives! Sure!

PalenQ Jan 17th, 2013 06:57 AM

Actually many wealthy French from places like Paris also own second homes in the Dordogne-Perigord region and these wealthy types added to the many foreign rich folk who flock here makes this area very different from most of France IME.

Old villages here that were once basically de-populated have largely been taken over by wealthy Parisians or foreigners and yes the bread that common French folks like in Orleans queue to get fresh probably would not pass muster with this crowd, seeking something more artisinale and never ever dare buying any bread from say Carrefour.

So my mistake in saying it is only rich foreigners who are making this area something far different from most of France, it is the well-heeled French themselves - and Gites also add to this - old houses in villages rented out to city dwellers by the week or more.

No wonder people who spend most of their time here have a skewed view of what most of France and most French do!

Michael Jan 17th, 2013 08:49 AM

I do not disagree that many if not most locals may be eating the ordinary nothing-special bread. One person in our village buys the bread from the truck that comes by twice a week, and it is industrial bread. He does not like fresh bread, so he then places the loaves he purchased on the window sill to dry them out.

But the fact is that the boulangeries have to cater to the permanent population to stay alive, and I'm pretty sure that they do not stop production of the <i>pain à l'ancienne</i> or <i>pain forestier</i> or whatever specialty they produce once the vacation season is over. The <b>sole</b> boulangerie of St. Robert (Corrèze)is artisanale, as is the one in Saint-Geniès, and I doubt that they reduce their quality once the high season is over.

PalenQ Jan 17th, 2013 09:13 AM

Seems logical - the main point is that this area of France is about as representative of France as a whole as Hyannis or Cape Cod is of the United States.

toupary6 Jan 17th, 2013 09:55 AM

Jan 16, 1:30 p.m., PalenQ wrote:

“in fact that small boulanderie [sic] brings in baguettes already made and just bakes them as I believe many small boulangeries do.”

This could present a problem for them. According to the “décret pain” of 13 September 1993, the designations “boulanger” and “boulangerie” are reserved for professional artisans who are responsible for choosing the ingredients, kneading the dough, supervising the rising,formin the loaves and cooking the bread ON SITE. None of the ingredients may, at any time, be frozen. If these standards are not met, the merchant [not a boulanger] must post the term “dépôt de pain(s)”

So, if they are doing as you say, they are not boulangeries, but dépôts de pain.

PalenQ Jan 17th, 2013 10:35 AM

Ok depots de pain - I was ignorant of the difference - yes it is, by my house where I stay a very small store that sells newspapers, cars, etc. and I do believe they say "depot de pain".

Merci for that info and nuances between bread outlets!

toupary6 Jan 17th, 2013 10:46 AM

De rien, Pal.

Pvoyageuse Jan 17th, 2013 11:33 AM

"anyway by French friend was emphatic that not nearly all boulangeries have good bread in France"

This is correct. And Carrefour and other supermarkets often sell very good quality bread.

Michael Jan 17th, 2013 11:40 AM

<i>the main point is that this area of France is about as representative of France as a whole as Hyannis or Cape Cod is of the United States.</i>

And my point is that almost any town has a bakery that makes decent bread even if the majority of the population is satisfied with the run-of-the-mill variety.

PalenQ Jan 18th, 2013 04:02 AM

And my point is that almost any town has a bakery that makes decent bread even if the majority of the population is satisfied with the run-of-the-mill variety.>

I find that a rather haughty take actually - saying that the majority of French are satisfied with 'run of the mill' bread - well that is their daily bread and has been for eons - I think the average French person would take issue with your characterization of them as being satisfied with 'run of the mill bread' - which they find perfectly decent.

And St Cirq - yes supermarkets can have very good bread- see Pvoyageuse's comment above above that along with those of my French friends and relatives - real French persons not some foreigner who haughtily thinks they know more about the French than the French themselves - why not go to a Carrefour and try the bread before saying bread in supermarkets is garbage - you obviously do not know of which you speak in this regard. Go try some fresh-baked Carrefour breads - my local one even has your desired artisinale breads too.

Michael Jan 18th, 2013 04:01 PM

<i>Go try some fresh-baked Carrefour breads - my local one even has your desired artisinale breads too.</i>

There's a Carrefour in Roscommon, MI?

PalenQ Jan 19th, 2013 06:41 AM

Naw the local one means by the house where I often stay a few weeks each year in Saran, France and where I once stayed several months each year. They have darn good breads make right on the premises and locals think it is just dandy - indeed part of the reason local boulangeries have been closing up - along with the likes of Pat Au Pain - the chain boulangerie next to the Carrefour - folks like to drive in and pick up bread rather than walking to their local boulangerie where parking is tough.

Things are changing in France bread wise though some faux French may not realize it.

Michael Jan 19th, 2013 12:03 PM

I gather that your locals are close enough to a <i>grande surface</i> to shop there more than once a week. My experience is with towns and villages which are at least 30 km. from a <i>grande surface</i>, which rules out getting the daily bread from there.

PalenQ Jan 19th, 2013 01:18 PM

Yuo the Carrefour is a 10-minute walk from her (my ex-wife who is my good friend and mother of my son - she visited here for Xmas and said the things I quote in this thread about Panera's, etc) and an L'Elerc (?) is not much farther - she said the Leclerc also has good bread - meaning acceptable like from any boulangerie - I am not saying all hypermarches (grandes surfaces) have fresh bread baked on the premises as any boulangerie does but these two do and I assume their many brances all over France do as well - that will surprise some folks who never though of hypermarches having good bread!

But me I do not know - I am just the messenger mouthing what she, a typical (authentic) French person IMO, claims to be true.

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