It took me about 3 seconds of stepping into Paris to realize that the city is CRAZY about its bread.
People eating baguettes out of paper packets, loaves poking out of shopping bags inside subway cars and long lines spilling out of boulangeries. There’s bread for every meal, every occasion and every type of ailment.
It’s hard not to catch this loaf fever. One minute you’re watching your carbs and the next minute you’ve been seduced by an open boulangerie door. Which should explain why I was found hunched into a small but significant basement of a traditional Parisian boulangerie at 4am.
What was I doing here?
Witnessing the magical creation of some of France’s most iconic breads. Baguettes both classic and traditional, pain au chocolat and croissants so pillowy that I could hug them.
Oh and making that video you’re seeing above.
Meet Paco, a gluten magician with more energy than a football team. He’s up before dawn everyday – sifting, mixing and folding dough that turns into delicious crusty breads and pastries.
In his broken English (because my French is excellent) he tells me the difference between traditional and classic baguettes and then goes on to hand me a warm croissant, straight out of the oven. To this day, I credit the first bite of that croissant as the moment I converted from atheist to spiritual. I had found God in a crust.
So the next time you’re in Paris, drop by Paco’s for fresh bread and heavenly desserts. And some crusty love.
Florentin Le Bon Pain, Av Simon Bolivar. 19th ar
Video & Pictures by Ishita Thakur