Galeries Lafayette’s food section is a lot of fun. It’s global in scope and features the best France has to offer. This is their beautifully displayed spice department.
One morning, I was listening to some food pundits on Radio France Inter. One of them quoted Cornell historian Steven Kaplan. According to Kaplan, they said, only 15% of the boulangeries in France still produce baked goods – baguettes and croissants being the acid test – of any value. That said, this is the best croissant I’ve ever eaten.
It is made at the boulangerie de Germain Maureille in the bourgignon village of St. Sauveur-en-Puisaye. If you go, also try their gougeres. This is M. Maureille’s mission statement, printed on the outside of his big bread bags:
A method of traditional breadmaking using yeast
The dough of my traditional French bread is slowly kneaded, then I let it rest longer than most so that it develops beautiful cavities and numerous flavors, a sign of a natural and well-conducted fermentation and a gauge of its conservation. It’s a little bit less voluminous, with a fine, colored crust, and when you cut into it, you’ll find a creamy and aromatic crumb with large air holes. In your mouth, it will reveal all the flavors of wheat.
Here’s Fredo with about 3 kilos of both.
The evening was noteworthy in another way: it was probably the only meal with which I didn’t eat a cheese course. This one was typical, and almost all the cheese came from within a 50 mile radius of Toucy.Meanwhile, back in Paris, I returned to Le Jardin d’en Face in Montmartre for their oeuf cocotte minute a la foie gras d’oie, gazpacho, and hachis parmentier with confit de canard.
Now, back home in Cambridge, MA, I thank local bakery Iggy’s for always having a baguette that falls into Steven Kaplan’s 15%, so I can duplicate my daily breakfast en bourgogne, day-old toasted bread with Fredo’s creamy acacia honey.