Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ici et là - The baker

'Here & There' is a Wednesday series dedicated to shops. Be it known that retail outlets in malls will NEVER qualify. The 'here' is the area around Paddington. The 'there' is generally La Rive Gauche de Paris, especially the single-digit arrondissements. I am interested in how people live, not in retailing per se.


In Paddington, and the broader Eastern Suburbs, we are dedicated to the grained loaf (what the French call 'un pain') or to variations upon the sourdough loaf. The ratio of core to crust is just sooo different, and here at home, I would not be caught dead eating white bread. 'Sonoma' is a bourgeoning bakery which has taken hold of the attention of the good burghers in the East and the Inner West of Sydney.


For mine, there are two loci in the French psyche: the coffee shop and the bakery. I find it astounding to wander the streets of a neighbourhood where people queue three times a day to buy white bread - white bread with as much crust as there is core. The French are besotted with the baguette, and I became likewise. 'Une baguette tradition, Madame, SVP' was my clarion call each morning. I would shove the baguette into a pocket in my caddie, with a bottle of water in the other pocket, take the metro to my destination du jour, sit on a parkbench in the sun, and munch 'til my heart's content.

17 comments:

Andrew said...

I became besotted with baguettes after visiting Vietnam and eating them often.

nicki said...

Oh, you're making me hungry! Here, along the coast there's a wood burning bakers oven stuck on the side of a house surrounde by olive groves where they make and sell huge loaves of warm crusty bread for 1 euro each. A kind neighbour often brings us fresh loaves in the morning!

Julie said...

Ooo ... yes ... that sounds wonderful too, Nicki, especially along the Amalfi!

The baguette that gentleman is carrying which looks like a 'tradition' costs €1.20 which makes it easier to divest oneself of all those bothersome small denomination coins.

brattcat said...

The staff of life. You make us all hunger to sit on that bench and munch away with you. Love your delicious parting shot today, too.

Kay L. Davies said...

Dick and I were amazed to see the citizens of Paris walking out of bakeries, munching on a fresh baguette as they walked. I never did try it, and although I didn't go everywhere he went, I don't think he did, either, but we talked of it often. Wonderful, wonderful, white bread or not. LOL
By the way, I'm so happy with your success during your solo stay in Paris. Ever so very proud of you.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Julie said...

Kay - Thank you for that quiet encouragement. I appreciate it. Yes, I was therer by myself and, although I met up with a few bloggers, yourself included, I did spend much of my time alone. However, with a camera there is always much to be done! Next time when I go (Sept 2011) I am going to set up more blogger meetups. They are just sooo worthwhile.

J Bar said...

I'm familiar with the brand but haven't seen this particular shop in Paddo.

Rachel said...

LOL about not being caught dead eating white bread. I have found the most delicious bread that can be had around here and I refuse to have a sandwich on any other kind. I would rather starve...okay. That might not be true. - I am loving these photos of bakeries!

wanderer said...

The difference I notice is the sweetness of the French 'white' bread. Maybe it is the wheat. i usually (not always) bypass Sonoma and head for Infinity Sourdough where the baguettes, though nothing like the French, are the next best thing. Welcome home.

Jilly said...

This is a find. And what a beautiful looking bakery too. I particularly love the second shot with the man plus baguette.

Alan O'Riordan said...

My Sunday morning baguette became something of an obsession when I lived in France. I would typically devour it in the time it took me to walk the 1km back home. That said, I'm a HUGE fan of sourdough and already researching sources in London for my return there in July. Great photo of the gent leaving the bakery, baguette in hand.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I confess to being a fan of light white bread and there is nothing better than when it is fresh and crusty.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

The smell of freshly cooked bread still warm has got to be one of the best smells ever. Do you know The Bourke St bakery Julie, my son lives on Bourke St. and the times I've been over to see him it has always fascinated me the way people will queue up for miles for good bread. Mind I would too.

Best wishes
Grace

Julie said...

Yes, I know the BSB ... it has a terrific reputation but is a trial to get into on weekends. I used to live in Waterloo which is on t'other side of Surry Hills. Within easy walking distance.

diane b said...

Nothing beats French bread. Bill will walk over hot coals for it. I like it too especially the crunchy crusts. I can just visualise you sitting on a park bench munching un baguette.

Julie said...

So ... picture this ... me on a park bench ... say in the Bois Bologne ... cut off jeans ... tee shirt from Bungle Bungles in WA ... purple Converse sneakers ... Harris Tweed cap ... caddie & walking stick ... munching baguette ... sipping water ... reading Bruce Chatwin's 'On the Black Hill' which is a family drama set in Wales from 1890-1980.

What a sight!

Jilly said...

One of my favourites - Bruce Chatwin. Too sad he left us so young.