I’m finally in Paris! It’s been a great trip so far as we eat our way through the city. I’m here with my girl Julia, as we take on the first city of our 2-month backpacking adventure through Europe.
Yesterday, we stumbled into one of the best coincidences ever. Upon visiting the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral, we are pleasantly greeted by the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the air. The smells are emanating from a huge tent. There is a sign. All french words. Darn! But there’s a picture of a baguette. Hmm…we approach. Inside the tent was a sight that I will never forget.
There were tables and tables filled with artisanal breads, showcased for the public to see. Ranging from brioches to croissants, and from baguettes to epis and hearty loaves of levain, the breads were beautifully crafted into varying shapes, sizes and designs. My favorite was a round boule carved with a sunflower in the middle.
However, the main attraction was watching the breadmakers at work, skillfully kneading and forming each round of dough into various shapes. The smell of freshly baked bread just pulled out of the oven is simply indescribable…and hunger-inducing. In the back of the tent, they had freshly baked breads and pastries for sale. I pick up a Chausson aux pommes, a flaky pastry filled with apple. The layers upon layers of rich buttery goodness melted in my mouth upon impact with the creamy apple filling offering a refreshing tartness. Sorry guys, this pastry was in my stomach before I even thought about taking a picture. I’ll try to control myself next time!
I later find out that I had witnessed the Fête du Pain, a festival held every year celebrating the craftmanship of breadmaking and is geared towards educating the public about this French staple. Breadmakers are invited from all over France, and the winner is chosen to make the official baguettes for the home of the President of France throughout the following year.
Sigh…life sure is good here in Paris.