Thursday, May 29, 2014


As mentioned over
one of my favorite things
(if not THE favorite)
we did in Paris
was a tour of the 

It all started because
was in town.

You know Norton, right?
He's this guy:

He and Mr. Willems are fellow
Northampton, Massachuset-tians
so I've had the pleasure of hanging out with 
Mr. Juster and his lovely wife a couple times
They rock hard.

When Mo got to Paris,
Norton insisted he meet
his good friend
Appolonia Poilâne.

She's kind of a big deal

She's also great to hang out with over dinner.
Which we did with 
The Willemses
The Justers
at a delicious place
(fair warning: no manhattans to be found there)

after much food and much wine
we asked Appolonia 
if we foolish Americans
(who were raised on Wonderbread)
could come visit her

Next thing we know...

Located on Rue du Cherche Midi,
this is where Appolonia's grandfather 
started his business in 1932:

Back in the early days of the bakery,
artists would trade paintings of 
Poilâne bread for actual bread.
(because no one made up the term 'starving artist')
They have a whole room displaying
some of their favorites paintings:

And yes.
That's a
bread chandelier.
used to order bread furniture
from Poilâne.

Down a set of curving stone steps
is the wood-fired oven that 
Poilâne started with in 1932
but goes back
in recorded history as far as

Yes, 1791.

Very little has changed over time in that tiny room
And they still make bread the same way.


Sea salt:

Water and mixing:

Weigh out just the right amount:

Shape it in a seasoned basket:

And into the oven in goes.

The oven is deeper than it looks.
The paddle the baker uses
looked at least 8 feet long.
And it runs 24 hours making
bread, cookies, croissants
and all manner of deliciousness.

After the tour
Appolonia was kind enough to send us back to the States
with enough bread for our whole neighborhood.

Which we promptly
dove into the next day:

I did have a moment on the plane 
where I realized that I didn't get to 
try one of the apple tarts I saw in the window
of Poilâne.

Looks like I'll have to go back to Paris soon!

Sooper triple giant thanks to
Appolonia and everyone at 

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