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Rue des Boulangers, or Paris I Love You, but You’re Making Me Fat


I am happily installed in the same cozy, shabby chic apartment on rue des Boulangers that I stayed in during my fall visit to Paris. I am thankful that it was available again, as it feels even more like a homecoming, and I am finding out I adore this part of the 5eme arrondissement. It is easy to escape the crowds by slipping through the huge blue door leading to my cobbled courtyard surrounded by trees. I am always amazed by these get-away-from-it-all shared gardens you find in Paris, these tranquil hidden gems.

In 1844 this short horseshoe lane cloaked with bakeries became known as rue des Boulangers. I imagine the clay chimney pipes blistering with the hungry smells of freshly baked bread and golden croissants. It must have been a happy rue as a French friend recently told me that the aroma of fresh-baked bread not only makes your mouth water, but has also been proven to make you a kinder more contented person.

Nowadays there is only one boulangerie at the bottom of the horseshoe lane, possibly explaining my cranky next-door neighbor.

Still, there are at least five fabulous boulangeries within a 5-minute walk of my flat. Maybe it is the distance and time away in the States, or the processed, over-baked carbohydrate batons they sell in my small town; certainly it’s the lack of creamy French butter added to the mix, and the plastic-like crescents sold in flimsy plastic boxes, but I honestly have no desire to eat bread back home. The shadow of bread, the ghosts of Paris past, it has no appeal at all.

Mais, here is the land of artisanal bakers, the still enforced Napoleonic decrees requiring specific ingredients, quality control for flour milling and dough kneading, and the perfectly established shape and sizes for baguettes and croissants, make it impossible for me to say, “No!” I am far less satisfied with taking pictures of their edible art this time around, and much more eager to take one (or two) masterpieces along with me on a grey-skied stroll through my lovely Par-ee.


29 Comments Post a comment
  1. What I would give to bake bread like the French. I drive 30 minutes out of the way just to find a decent baguette.

    February 21, 2015
  2. Cate Benioff #

    Can’t wait to have some fresh baguettes soon! ❤ ❤

    February 21, 2015
  3. I was abroad in Paris last summer, and the bread was to DIE for! One of the best things that I miss about France. 😦

    February 21, 2015
    • Yes. The French are amazing bakers. My heart wishes we Americans could replicate their recipes and skills, but my waistline is sometimes glad they can’t.

      February 22, 2015
      • Haha, bien sûr!

        February 22, 2015
  4. Stephanie #

    We r fortunate…a true Parisian couple opened a delicious patisserie 5 minutes from us!!! Although the prices are much higher than en France!!! We love it!!! Not good for my waistline though since us lazy Americans don’t walk much!!!

    February 21, 2015
    • How fortunate, you lucky duck. I still don’t understand why it is so hard to replicate French bread and pastries in America. I suspect it might be that the ingredients aren’t the same. Someone once told me it is because our flour is so different from French flour. I really miss not being able to walk everywhere back in Colorado. But today in Paris is a glorious blue-skied day, and I plan to walk the whole city. x

      February 22, 2015
  5. Damn it! I’m reading this in bed and it’s given me the munchies. I was planning to do a Bun Of The Week ( or Day) but then needed to lose weight, so over to you.

    February 21, 2015
    • I’d love to see a bun a week, especially because I’m not at all familiar with British baking. Maybe you could walk to the bakery and burn a few calories?

      February 22, 2015
  6. A mouth-watering and poetic tribute to the boulangeries of Paris. Great to have you back, Nancy!

    February 22, 2015
  7. It’s so weird, I only eat white bread and naughty patisserie in France but I always lose weight, even when I am not acting as builder’s matey . It must be because we walk more

    February 22, 2015
    • I think I have gained a few pounds, but I don’t have a scale staring me down here, which might be a dangerous thing. Still when in Paris…

      March 1, 2015
  8. I’ve been in Taiwan for the past month for New Year’s and I’m having major bread withdrawals. This is making my mouth water and wanting to just hop on a plane back to Paris right now. Sighhhh one more month until my return to the land of good butter, baguettes, and cheese. For now, I’ll just live vicariously through your posts.

    February 22, 2015
  9. Cami Welsh #

    Ahhh, you’re back! I’m so excited to return to your daily Paris escapes. I can almost taste the crescents from here.

    February 22, 2015
    • Hi Cam. Slacking off a bit on the daily thing. But planning to get a good handful posted before I had back to Colorado for the spring. Thank you for continuing to read. x

      March 1, 2015
  10. Good to see you are getting a new dose of Paris to help your soul. We are settling very slowly in snowy & freezing cold Montreal and are still waiting for our stuff coming from Paris. I hope to start blogging again once I get my computer which will allow me to process pictures. Looking forward to reading more of your Paris adventures and be jealous…(Suzanne)

    February 23, 2015
    • Great to hear from you Suzanne. Argh! about the arrival of your shipment. Ours took almost 4 months (was supposed to be 4-6 weeks). I hope yours arrive soon. Just a few more weeks left in Paris this time around, but I am trying to make the most of it. It is an interesting and challenging place to be–straddling both worlds. I hope I (we) can figure out how to make it work. I look forward to hearing about (and seeing) your posts on Montreal. Best to you and Pierre.

      March 1, 2015
  11. This would be the rue for me! That is serious looking bread! The brioche…

    February 25, 2015
  12. Yum those pictures are mouth-watering! Your little apartment in the 5eme arrondissement sounds wonderful 🙂

    February 27, 2015

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