Boulangeries (and fromageries, and chocolateries) found

June 17, 2009 at 10:20 PM | Posted in Paris 2009, Paris markets | 2 Comments

I really love my apartment–the central location, the antique furnishings, the ancient exposed wood beams in the ceiling–but until this evening, I wasn’t crazy about the neighborhood.  It felt very touristy and lacking in some of the neighborhood shops and gathering places that I like about other parts of Paris.  Then, after learning that one of my favorite bakeries, Eric Kayser, has a location not far from me on Rue de Petits Carreux (in the 2nd arrondissement), I made it my business to take a roundabout route home and get myself one of the amazing baguettes Malsherbes that I’ve been craving for a year.  And was I ever rewarded!

First of all, the bread was even more wonderful than I remembered. Last night I got a baguette traditionelle from the boulangerie around the corner, and it was okay but kind of tasted like Paris water (which is very mineral-y and tres calcaire, or full of calcium–good for the bones, not so great for the food).  The one I got today at Eric Kayser was worlds beyond that–it was still hot (bonus points) and had some real substance to it.  Of course, I ripped off le coude (the “elbow,” or pointy end of the baguette) and ate it as soon as I got outside the bakery. Then, as I walked down the street, which is a pedestrian street called Rue Montorguiel, I noticed that it had all the things I had been sad that (I thought) my neighborhood was missing.  It had every “-erie” you could imagine–boulangerie, patisserie, chocolaterie, fromagerie, boucherie (butcher), charcuterie (cured pork and ready-to-eat dishes), poissonerie (fish), epicerie (spices), and lots of stores for “bons produits”, or specialties, including a whole store devoted to olive oil and another devoted to candied fruit.  And while I was so excited to see my first local fromagerie that I bought a crottin, or little button, of chevre (goat cheese), I soon discovered that the street had eight or so cheese shops, each with its own character.  Same for boulangeries–there are enough different breads on Montorguiel to keep me trying a new one every day for weeks.

As I walked home, I just felt so happy to be here, and fell in love with the city all over again.

I made a picnic dinner from my foragings: fresh bread, goat cheese, some Camembert that I had bought at the grocery store the other day but which is not bad at all (especially when brought to room temperature), a fresh zucchini that I sliced and lightly cooked, and a glass of Chablis.  For dessert, I had a chocolate-covered nougat with almonds and pistachios, and a few candied kumquats that I picked up (don’t know what possessed me to pick those, out of all the candied fruits in the store, but they are really good!).

My delicious dinner

My delicious dinner

and my equally delicious dessert, getting some fresh air on my living room window sill

and my equally delicious dessert, getting some fresh air on my living room window sill. Note how light it is outside: I took this picture at 9:30 pm

In unrelated news, I’m back at my job from last summer and it is so wonderful to see my colleagues and be working on this project.  They are really special people–especially the lab head, Marcel, and one of the head scientists, Marie–and I love working with them.  French class is also going well, and I can’t believe how much I’ve already learned (despite the long, long way that I have left to go!)

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2 Comments »

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  1. What a wonderful description. I can smell the fresh bread and feel the cheese as it spreads across the bread. The crisp taste of Chablis is the perfect compliment to a simple but oh so francais dinner. What is for the next meal?

  2. unfriggin’ real! I think a bottle of yeigermeister would go wonderfully with the fromage and pistachios…I love your writing and incredible descriptions, and of course, love you so much.


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