And are we ever glad we went there!
The owners were so incredibly kind. The baker invited us into the back to show us where he makes the bread and pastries. He walked us through a typical day (he gets up at 3:30 AM to be at the store by 5:00 so that he can start baking, and doesn`t leave until around 8:00pm). What a long day! But he really loves his job. He used to work in the journalism field, until he decided to become a baker about 7 years ago. He opened the bakery that we went to in 2008 and it is clear that he has a passion for his work. His favourite aspect of the job is the rapport he has with his clients, when they return and when they are satisfied.
The whole bakery is just a very inviting place. There is a large glass window that opens up onto the street, with a modern and beautiful sign to attract your attention. Inside the lighting is good and the vast selection of goods is well displayed. There is a glass window through which you can see the baker putting the bread in the oven, which creates a sort of bond between you and the baker.
|Just the bread! More pastries on the other side.|
|Le boulanger taking a delicious treat out of the oven|
|dough! you let it ferment for at least 24hours for best results.|
|Getting the fresh bread out!|
|Cutting the bread|
|Here's some good bread! The more holes the better. It should be more of a cream colour, not white. The bottom should be hard, and when you squeeze it it should be lovely and crusty. Perfect!|
|The seed bread! So delicious.|
Our baker gave us a really excellent answer about why he believes bread is so important to the French, but I won't post it all. Mostly because it would take awhile to translate it. But here is a short quote:
«Je pense que sa place est prépondérante en France car c'est un aliment de "partage". On aime s'assoir autour d'une table pour déguster un bon vin, un bon fromage avec du pain. Il est le ciment de ces moments forts de convivialité.» "I think that it's place is so important in France because it is a food to share. We love sitting around a table to taste good wine and good cheese with bread. It is the cement of the strongest moments of festivity/friendship." I love this idea. We talked a lot at Ryerson camp last year about the importance of bread and how it is something that really is a sharing food, and the French seem to have that idea down pat.
When we began this dossier, we were not really sure what to expect. We got incredibly lucky and managed to really get something out of the project though; meeting the boulanger was incredible and getting to see where the action happens was so important to us, who don't have quite the same importance for bread in Canada. It was a very cultural experience, and one that I am so grateful to have had. All I can say is that after this visit, I truly do appreciate bread much more, and the care that the bakers here put into their work. Because for them, baking bread isn't just a job, it's a way of life.
|With the boulanger|