…What is bread to you? – le Bulletin – la Conversation

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If I were asked to close my eyes

then to think of FRANCE

and to then INHALE

What aroma would I experience?

Well, it would probably depend on where in France I imaged myself at the time… let’s assume I’m in PARIS.

  • If in the metro, it could be the aroma of too many PEOPLE or in the metro subways it could even be URINE
  • If in a fromagerie where you’ll often find me, then the aroma would be CHEESE! Did you know that I have trouble saying “Bonjour madame/monsieur” before I inhale – rude, I know!
  • If flâneuring it could be the warm AIR rising from the vents in the footpath in the winter months
  • But equally, as I pass by the local boulangerie – it’s BREAD – wonderful French BREAD!

2017 official Meilleure Baguette de Paris competition

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful creative young Parisian woman: Clotilde Dusoulier.


  • a food writer,
  • is French (of course), as her name implies,
  • she lives in Paris
  • with her young family.
  • And when you go to visit Clotilde’s blog and this post, please let her know that you discovered her in ‘le Bulletin’ by MyFrenchLife.org – merci
  • She produces an awesome food blog which she started in 2003 and
  • she has also just launched a wonderful podcast which I’m excited about, but more about that another time because…
  • right now I just want to INHALE BAGUETTES ! How about you? Are you ready?

Here is the relevant recent post from Clotilde’s blog ChocolateandZucchini, where she digs deep into the official ‘Best Baguette of Paris 2017’ competition:

The official Meilleure Baguette de Paris competition was held last Thursday [9 May], and the 2017 winner of the Best Baguette in Paris award is (drumroll please) Sami Bouattour from Boulangerie Brun, a bakery that’s at 193 rue de Tolbiac in the 13th arrondissement (métro Tolbiac).

The competition is held every year, and it is organized by the Mairie de Paris, the mayor’s office, to spread the word about Paris as a city of fabulous bread — which it no doubt is — and to foster a healthy sense of competition between the boulangers, who strive to improve their craft in the hopes of winning that coveted distinction.

If you’re a curious person, like me, then I suggest that you read Clothilde’s post, to find the answers to the following and much more: –

  • How is the Best Baguette in Paris prize awarded?
  • What’s in it for the baker?
  • What’s a Baguette de tradition française ?
  • What are the markers of a superior traditional French baguette?

Top 10 Best Baguettes in Paris – 2017

  1. Sami Bouattour, Boulangerie Brun: 193, rue de Tolbiac, Paris 13ème.
  2. Khemoussi Mansour, Aux Délices de Glacière: 90, boulevard Auguste Blanqui, Paris 13ème.
  3. Tanguy Lahaye, Boulangerie du Pain: 20, Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, Paris 11ème.
  4. Gontran Cherrier, Boulangerie Gontran Cherrier: 22, rue de Caulaincourt, Paris 18ème.
  5. Abdallah Lakoum, Boulangerie Bichon: 2, rue Cail, Paris 10ème.
  6. Gilles Levaslot, Les Gourmandises d’Eiffel: 187, rue de Grenelle, Paris 7ème.
  7. Mahmoud M’Seddi, Boulangerie 2M: 215, boulevard Raspail, Paris 14ème.
  8. Ismaël Sylla, Le Grenier à Pain: 52, avenue d’Italie, Paris 13ème.
  9. Swan Casenove, Boulangerie Tembely: 33, rue Myrha, Paris 18ème.
  10. Hubert Beatrix, Maison Hubert Trévise: 6, rue de Trévise, Paris 9ème.*

To help you find a prized baguette of your own in Paris, Clotilde has created this handy map:

The 20 Greatest Bread Quotes of All Time

The 20 Greatest Bread Quotes of All Time

Well, maybe not of all time — how far back does the world’s literature really go? And we blush to note that most of these quotes come from Western sources, at that. But read on anyway, because some of them are pretty damn funny, or at least pithy and philosophical.

1. “The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. “How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?” —Julia Child

3. “Any time a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies.” —Milton Berle

4. “If you have two loaves of bread, sell one and buy a lily.” — Chinese proverb

5. “The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.” —M.F.K. Fisher

The 20 Greatest Bread Quotes of All Time

6. “Two things only the people desire: bread and the circus games.” —Juvenal

7. “Give me yesterday’s Bread, this Day’s Flesh, and last Year’s Cyder.” —Benjamin Franklin

8. “I judge a restaurant by the bread and by the coffee.” —Burt Lancaster

9. “Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread.” —Pablo Neruda

10. “For less than the cost of a Big Mac, fries and a Coke, you can buy a loaf of fresh bread and some good cheese or roast beef, which you will enjoy much more.” —Steve Albini

11. “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” —Mahatma Gandhi

12. “I like reality. It tastes like bread.” —Jean Anouilh

13. “Deliberation, n.: The act of examining one’s bread to determine which side it is buttered on.” —Ambrose Bierce

14. “Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread. Without it, it’s flat.” —Carmen McRae

15. “Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.” —W.H. Auden

16. “If I survive, I will spend my whole life at the oven door seeing that no one is denied bread and, so as to give a lesson of charity, especially those who did not bring flour.” —Jose Marti

17. “I am proud to be an American. Because an American can eat anything on the face of this earth as long as he has two pieces of bread.” —Bill Cosby

18. “‘A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said, ‘is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides are very good indeed.'” —Lewis Carroll

19. “Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.” —Richard Wright

20. “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” —Omar Khayyam

Kenneth Grahame author: ‘Wind in the Willows’

Everywhere you look in life you come across references to bread. So, following our literary and bread theme…

There he got out the luncheon-basket and packed a simple meal, in which, remembering the stranger’s origin and preferences, he took care to include a yard of long French bread, a sausage out of which the garlic sang, some cheese which lay down and cried, and a long-necked straw-covered flask wherein lay bottled sunshine shed and garnered on far Southern slopes.
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

That’s all for this week see you in the comments below – what is bread to you?

au revoir

Judy xx



If you missed any of the recent le Bulletin ‘CONVERSATION’ articles you can play catch up here, now! Today’s CONVERSATION is immediately below.

  • ‘What is bread to you?’click read / comment
    13.5.17 – 2017 Best Baguette competition – Discover the best boulangers in Paris and much more… *NEW*
  • ‘Isabelle Huppert, philo et moi‘ click read / comment
    6.5.27 – What Isabelle and I may have in common…
  • ‘Authenticity – what is it? vulnerability? – click read/comment 
    – Exploring authenticity & its relationship with vulnerability, fear & shame…
  • ‘Listen up!’ – click read/comment
    – Frenchify your life with fabulous audio: podcasts, books & more
  • “Get a life!” – click read/comment
    – Read and Think – an extraordinary reading list
  • ‘The real me’ – click read/comment
    – authenticity: how authentic?
  • ‘To agree or to disagree’ – click read/comment
    – are you ‘a people pleaser’?
  • ‘My big challenge’ – click read/comment
    – let me know your thoughts – I really want to hear from you

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About the Contributor

Judy MacMahon

Experience FRANCE beyond the CLICHÉ with MyFrenchLife.org MyFrenchLife is for Curious Savvy Francophiles wherever you are. Meet Francophiles in France, online, and/or wherever you live. You’re very welcome to join us - Judy MacMahon - MyFrenchLife.org

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  1. Debra Finerman May 13, 2017 at 8:29 PM - Reply

    Oh Judy, just the thought of a warm baguette, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside…The funny thing is, most people are convinced that THEIR boulangerie makes the BEST Baguettes in Paris. This just goes to show how loyal the French are to their favorite baguette. They may cheat on their lover, but never their boulangère!

  2. Jetgirl Aug 20, 2017 at 3:21 AM - Reply

    This is the best part of visiting France for me. I’m so jealous of the French and their boulangeries on every corner! Here in the US I am forced (ok, it’s actually fun!) to make my own bread. I order the flour from a place that imports it from Normandy to avoid the US “enrichments” and I have my own levain. If I lived in France I wouldn’t need to go to these lengths!

    • Judy MacMahon Aug 21, 2017 at 11:17 AM - Reply

      Impressive Jetgirl, I’ve never made my own bread with my own ‘mother’. You’re surely deserving of a trip soon 🙂

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