16 June 2007

Paris: The Bakery Under the Eiffel Tower

Grandma Annie was fond of bakeries and - as family legend goes - spent her first paycheck as a young dressmaker on sweets.

In her later years, she shopped at different bakeries - our town had nearly a dozen at one time - for different specialties, this one for its white bread, that one for its cakes, another for its pastries.

How she would have loved the choices in Paris. I imagine her, a small-town woman of French Canadian heritage, wild eyed and enthusiastic about Parisian offerings. I wish she could have seen Paris. I wonder if she ever dreamed about it. . .

We have sampled the goods at about 8 Parisian patisseries, and have always been satisfied.

But the croissants from F. Fegueux, the bakery less than a block north of the Eiffel Tower, have us craving more. They were soft and moist and flaky with a touch of sweetness on the top crust, equally good with ham and cheese, egg salad, or jams and jellies.

We scarfed them down too quickly to take photos. But we also loved the baguettes, and often split the three-Euro sandwhiche jambom for lunch.

The desserts were equally good, and I will share photos in future posts.

This place may be one of the best-kept secrets in Paris. Can you add another? Or share information about a good bakery in your town?

15 comments:

Blame It on Paris said...

Beautiful! And here I came back from the local baker's deeply depressed at the selection this morning. Their baguettes were soft and tasteless and their "pains au chocolat" had some kind of chocolate frosting in them instead of good chocolate. Sigh. This post isn't helping my depression. :)

But I shall look forward to seeing more of their desserts!

Abby said...

Oh Mimi, those photos are just heavenly. I must admit to a fondness for eclairs, especially the custard filled ones, smothered in chocolate icing. It has left me pining for a good French Bakery here in N.CA. The last one went out of business some years ago and I can not bear to eat our supermarket's version.

Sigh, one day soon I promise myself that elusive trip to Gay Paris.

Lydia said...

I can't add to your insider info about Paris bakeries, but anyone who's been to Providence (RI) knows our local favorite, Seven Stars, which has the most wonderful breads and pastries.

Mimi said...

Oh, Laura, bakery depression can make you miserable! Here's one for you: The pain au chocolate at Musee D'Orsay was mostly pain and no chocolate (but the cafe creme was good). I've had better pain au chocolate at Gare d'Austelitx.

Abby, I took lots of photos of desserts. More to come, I promise.

Lydia, I think it's time I did a bakery tour of NE - maybe in 2008.

Kristen said...

Again... I just adore Annie!

ladyjicky said...

Oh Mimi, I want a cake now!

Mimi said...

Annie was a good woman, Kristen. I've got to find a good photo and scan it.

I practice some willpower in Paris, LadyJicky, but not nearly enough...

Toni said...

Mimi, you are making me want to go to Paris again. Of course, that's not too difficult to do, but yes, there is absolutely nothing like the bakeries there! Here in San Diego there are 2 bakeries - one for bread called Bread & Cie, and one for pastries and cakes called Extraordinary Desserts. The woman who opened Extraordinary Desserts about 10 years ago studied in France, so her pastries are quite rich without being overloaded with sugar.

Mimi said...

Toni, our bakeries make mostly traditioanal and somewhat heavy midwestern-style breads and desserts. We have one restaurant bakery that produced good pies and muffins. And the local grocery store sells LaBrea bakery items. But that's pretty much it. Not much imagination in these parts.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

The best thing about Paris bakeries is having a favorite one and hundreds more to discover!
Lovely post.

Mimi said...

I;ve never met a Parisian bakery I did not like. Thanks, Tanna!

dharmagirl said...

Hello Mimi! I'm enjoying your blog. I've never been to Paris (yet!), but Zingerman's bakery in Ann Arbor, Michigan makes a delicious pain au chocolate, all butter, filled with batons of Valrhona. They also make wonderful breads, various kinds of sandwich breads and all manner of European style loaves. They do mail order (something I will have to keep in mind when I relocate to your neck of the woods next month:).

Jann said...

Well, something happened to my last comment~anyway, I sure hope that you did not gain any weight while searching for the perfect croissant~I am sure I have not had it yet~ so I can continue to eat on ! I am partial though, to Laduree and their almond croissant~ probably the atmosphere has something to do with it!

Terri said...

Your Grandma Annie certainly had her priorities straight, I'd say.
And I'm ashamed to say, although we're surrounded by beauty here on the island....NOT one bakery!
Actually, when I left the Boston area 20 years ago (where every town had at least two or three bakeries) I was shocked to discover it's not so in Florida. Our major supermarket, Publix, is the bakery. It's a section of the store and their stuff is okay....but give me a good old-fashioned bakery any day. Just another reason why I love Paris!
(I've been SO busy lately, but have really enjoyed catching up with you here this evening)

Mimi said...

Dharmagirl, welcome to the Far North!

Jann, we lost weight in Paris. We walked so much, we could eat dessert daily.

Terri, I can see many advantages to living without bakeries!