Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Man Can't Live By Bread Alone..

Maybe. In Paris it might not be impossible. It seemed like a good portion of the city's population sported a baguette or two under their arm as they went about their day. We had a wonderful boulangerie/patisserie just around the corner from our apartment that we claimed as our own and several times we made the extra tromp down and back up the many flights of stairs to have fresh bread to go with our breakfast tea. Our favorite was a freshly sliced, multi-cereal grain loaf and a long chocolate chip baguette. I know the chocolate chip thing sounds sort of wierd, but trust me - YUM. While Sam and Kyla were with us, we couldn't really get them past having chocolate eclairs for breakfast. (And for a rejuvenating snack to keep up the energy of all that walking around the city. And for a side dish for lunch. And for dessert. And for a late... you get the idea - they ate LOTS of eclairs.)

Meals equaled More Bread. Freshly sliced baguettes came with 99% of the meals we ordered. If you ordered a full meal (Aside: an interesting difference in word use - in America a pre-meal item is usually listed on a menu as an Appetizer and main courses are listed under Entrees. In Paris an Entree means an Appetizer, or first course (for instance a small salad), while the Entree, or rather the main dish items, were listed under Les Plats.) Now back to bread - a basket of bread was set on the table with our drinks and if was continually replenished until our meal was complete. Hubby figured out at some point that as soon as the last bite was eaten off our plates, the bread basket was quickly whisked away, so he took to leaving a few bites on his plate until he was ready to relinquish the bread. And it worked!

Last trip I got home and realized I hadn't thought to take photos of some of the more "ordinary differences and pleasures" - things like ordinary street scenes, signs, places we ate or the places we stayed at. I swore I'd remember this time around. Well, I remembered more so than last time but, I still forgot to take photos of so many things that now that I'm home I'm thumping my hand to my forehead (symbolically - in real life my hands are still itchy and sore and my sore mouth has given me a lingering headache) and thinking "DUH! Forgot to take a picture of this/that too!" My point is, I don't have a photo of our lovely local bakery. Or of anyone walking down the street carrying a loaf of bread tucked in a bag or under their arm like a daily newspaper. BUT, I do have a lovely little series of photos of the "natural bread shop" we visited.

This is the shop on Rue de Defert-Rochereau just across from the entrance to the catacombs that William and I found and loved on our last trip. Hubby, Sam and Kyla and I loved it just as much this time around.

If you saw these goodies in the window, wouldn't you need to rush inside!?

So, of course, we did just that. Here's another view from inside the shop. I didn't get a shot of the pastries behind the glass counter that we all made selections from. Hubby and Sam got some cheese and meat filled baguettes. I bought an apple and almond tarte and an almond croissant. Kyla bought several items, the only one I remember is shown below. We took them all to this little park around the corner.

We actually took pictures of each of us eating our selections but it turns out that people aren't at their most attractive with their mouths wrapped around food, even delicious pastries. So I'll save you those images and leave you with this one where Kyla poses, pre-bite, simultaneously showing off both her adorableness and the strawberry tart's deliciousness.

Okay, if all this yummy bread and pastry has you feeling a little snug in the waistband, hop on over to Laume's Studio for a long walk through Paris in search of street art.


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