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bizcochería – La Gourmandista

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Etiqueta: bizcochería

What’s the Best Bakery and Pastry Shop in Paris ?

I come from a land where we originally didn’t eat wheat because it didn’t exist. It is, however, the place where we use corn in so many ways and to such an extent that we dare to say corn is the what Mexico tastes like. But history says wheat, and therefore bread, arrived to my country when we were conquered by the Spaniards. There are several tales about such arrival, but as far as I know and understand, it was Hernán Cortés who requested wheat as part of the essential supplies to be sent in around 1525. And hey, this does not mean in any way that us, as descendants of the Aztecs, do not like bread. All the contrary, we love it. But living in Mexico does not include bread as part of our daily regime, since traditional food mainly requires corn tortillas. I also must add that it doesn’t matter what color they are. We even sometimes require wheat flour tortillas if the dish has its origins in the Northern part of the country, but when we crossed the Atlantic “pond”, our nixtamalized corn did not travel with us, and when I found the imported cornflour to prepare them at a local specialty store, they sold it at the very scary price of 12 Euros per kilo. Now, there is also the 8-tortilla packages that taste like Tex-Mex at 4 Euros a piece, but I don’t like them. Therefore, it became evident that bread was immediately adopted as part of the staple foods at home, unless tortillas were truly imperative for our menu and we either bought them or prepared them, after having personally imported the flour ourselves from Spain. Ironic, isn’t it?

Now, we associate cheese and bread to widely fundamental elements of the French gastronomy, and of course, there are many kinds of breads as per the decree signed back in the 90s stipulating which ingredients each kind of loaf or baguette are to include. Hence, there is pain tradition française (traditional French baguette), baguette parisienne (different to the traditional version and at a fixed price), pain maison (their signature bread), pain complet and semi-complet (whole-wheat or partially refined wheat flour), pain bio (with ingredients coming from organic agriculture which respect the environment and only use pesticides approved by organic agricultural guidelines), pain de seigle (rye)…and many many more, but I think these are the most common ones. And, even when the ingredients are previously defined, each bakery has its own style, specific ingredients, and cooking methods, for being a baker is an art just by itself.

Therefore, as one might imagine, the baker’s craftsmanship is of great importance to the French, and there are bakeries at almost every corner, and as most of the bread -at least in the capital city, and except for what it is sold at supermarkets, most bread is of really good if not of exceptional quality, and so, we all believe the best bakery and pastry shop in Paris is the one located just opposite our own homes. And it is not a matter of going and asking which is the best bread in the store, but of identifying what it is they prepare in a spectacular way when compared to the rest of the bakeries, even when we buy our baguettes at the same place, for it is that little “something” we buy just before we go home.

These are among my favorite stores:

Le Moulin de la Vierge has the best ‘Tarte Tatin’ in the city… I give you my word!

Desgranges has the best ‘palmiers’ (Elephant Ears) on the surface of planet Earth… They ought to put half a kilo of butter in each one. They are well worth the 2 Euros a piece they charge for them.

Laurent Duchêne has beautifully looking pastries which taste like little pieces of heaven. When I put them in my mouth, I understood why he had been awarded the title of “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (One of the Best Craftsmen in France).

And surely near someone else’s home there might be other award-winning baguette shop, or where croissants are mouth-watering and which I haven’t tasted to date. In the future, I will certainly find other bakeries and pastry shops I will fall in love with and which will find a place in this blog.

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