Over my 5 years in Paris I've had some amazing Parisian Thanksgivings in the past, with both fellow ex-pats and natives alike. However, this year I don't feel like scrambling to find substitutes or ersatz ingredients in order to pull together a traditional meal. While new spins on classic holiday traditions are always a welcome opportunity for culinary creativity, I've decided that this year, if I can't be with the ones I love in the U.S., I'll love what I've got and in Paris, we've got a lot of bakeries.
I'm surprised that it has taken me so long to write about organic bakeries in Paris, but that's probably because I've never thought of myself as a huge painophile until I started writing a short story a few days ago and realized that my fictional American family was sitting down to dinner with a fresh baguette, I couldn't write it out and I have to admit that, after my lengthy séjour in this city, I don't think I can make it to my apartment at the end of the day without a trip to the bakery first.
Bread is an integral part of daily life in France, and there are a lot of amazing bakeries that are producing exceptional options. Recently, I visited a slew of bakeries for a friend in Nashville, TN who has a bakery called Dozen
and is doing research for starting her own place in the future.
She was inspired by the bakeries she saw during her stay in France and I understand why- there are quite a lot to choose from and it is a pleasure to do a tasting tour of the city, discovering new neighborhoods and things to nibble on.
I decided, therefore, that I would do a tour of some of the city's organic boulangeries and build up a list of bonnes adresses for the blog.
My first stop was La Boulangerie par Veronique Mauclerc (83 rue de Crimée, 75019) this incredibly cranky women should probably be excused for her snarky sales approach, as she wakes in the early hours of the morning to begin the 15 hour process necessary for making her bread, which is baked in one of four remaining wood-fired ovens in Paris.
Mauclerc uses organic flour and employs a sourdough starter to initiate two risings of her bread. The final product is beautiful. I was on my way to a trico-thé afternoon of knitting and tea and picked up a brioche aux pistaches which was well appreciated. I can understand why Veronique is so picky over who takes home her labors of love, though I think a nap might improve her disposition.
Today I stopped by Au Pain Naturel
(6 bd. de Denain, 75010) which appears to be a part of the Moisan
collective of organic bakeries. Located in the less-than-charming Gare du Nord neighborood, this bakery is inviting with its loveley façade and wide array of breads and pastries.
The salespeople there kept it cool as I took pictures and a local crazy yelled at them for their unwillingness to barter with him over the price of a baguette.
I gladly payed my 1.90€ for an organic pain viennoise spotted with morcels of sweet orange peel. It made a nice side to the organic fallsa
stuffed omelets that I enjoyed with a lady friend later that afternoon.
I'm excited to work on my to-do list of organic bakeries in Paris, and would love any suggestions or reviews you may have.
Until then, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a Bon Beaujolais Nouveau- but most of all I wish you the best of what is local and a very Bon Appetit!