Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Patisserie and Boulangerie in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France


Two of our favorite shops in France were the Patisserie, the pastry shop, and the Boulangerie, the bakery. In some Patisseries, but not all, you can purchase the one essential thing you must buy every single day – the French baguette. In the Patisserie shown above they only sell pastries. When we asked for a baguette one day, the beautiful mademoiselle pointed her finger to herself and said, “Patisserie.” Then she took her delightfully long finger and pointed out the door and said, “Boulangerie.” Meaning, for those who she thought didn't speak French, we don’t sell baguettes here. Although we continued to purchase beautiful desserts in this shop, you can be sure we never asked for a baguette there again.

Here are some of the pastries we purchased from various Patisseries. Notice how beautifully a Patisserie packages your purchase. Tarte Citron was my favorite and I enjoyed how different shops decorated the tart.






A French baguette is essential but they turn hard and stale quickly, so going to get one becomes part of your daily routine. We had heard stories about French people rising early, going to the Boulangerie and walking home with a baguette tucked under their arm. Well, it’s true and we found out why they go early - because by noon most bakeries have sold out of bread.


At first we weren’t particular about where we bought our baguette but quickly learned some were superior to others. But how should we decide where to go? Easy. We got up early and followed the locals to see where they go to get their baguette. We found the Boulangerie pictured below. Early in the morning the lines snaked out the tiny shop into the street, but the wait was worth it. They had the very best baguette in town. They also sold some pastries so we didn’t have to make an extra stop for dessert. Notice the savory tomato tarts in their case. They were wonderful and we had them several times for lunch with a salad. So, just as we learned with the bistros, follow the locals and you won’t be disappointed.






I hope you can join us next time as we go to the Boucherie, our favorite butcher shop, and the big supermarket, the Supermarche. Neither place spoke English and it was a very interesting experience. A bientot.

27 comments:

  1. I remember the patisseries in France - in Beaune, I got a pastry that was a cream puff wrapped in a marzipan coating and decorated to look like a fig. It was amazing.

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  2. Simply gorgeous! I just gained 10 lbs. looking at the pictures. I want to try them all! Thanks for the French pastry tour.

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  3. Sam, I'll be with you every step of the way, hanging on your words. I love what I read here. Tell the butcher I'm coming.

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  4. It's the patisserie hour - I wish I could have one of those delicious sweets right now!

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  5. This reminds me of the Mozart Cafe in Gyor, Hungary last October. I could never make up my mind what I wanted. Everything was beautful. And Annabelle's in Budpest. Ditto. Just let me stand for several hours and look!

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  6. Oh how I get into trouble when I travel to Europe and those shops full of my beloved sweets...

    If you are interested I can tell you how to make chickpea flour...or paste from canned chickpeas...you can email me anytime!

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  7. Your pictures are just gorgeous. I love how you describe the "patisserie's" fingers as "delightfully long". I just love this series. How long were you there?

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  8. I will queue early in the morning for all those delightful treats!!!

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  9. The pastries look so yummy and nice wrapped :)

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  10. I love the tomato tart idea! Will have to make one this summer. Wonderful tour.

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  11. The pastries are so beautiful, starting with the packaging. I have never been to France (but dearly hope I will someday have the pleasure) and what I am enjoying about your post is the sense of quality over convenience or quantity. So, the locals will make the effort to get up early to procure the best-tasting, freshest baguette.

    By the same token, many of us lump pastries and breads as 'baked goods' but in your travels, they are completely different foods and therefore are offered in different venues where they get focused attention. Then there is the promised visit to the Boucherie in your next post - most stand alone butchers I see here in the US are really more delicatessens offering pre-cut meats (where perhaps they'll cut or grind it down further for you).

    I'm curious to hear about the Supermarche - is it, like American supermarkets, where all these specialized food purveyors, brought under a single umbrella of convenience?

    As always, I love tagging along on your journeys!

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  12. Sam, Just read your bio about you being a National Chicken contestant. That is so cool!

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  13. First off, how in the world is that lady so slim?! If I worked in a shop like that, I'm pretty sure I would be the size of a house! And some of the treats that you've had look incredible. You just can't find those types here in the states.

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  14. Gorgeous bread and sweets!

    I'd have waiting in line for that too! :D

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  15. Good advice to follow the locals. The pastries look fabulous, as does the tomato tart.

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  16. I could live off of fresh baguettes and sharp cheese.

    The little pie shown above looks AMAZING!

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  17. Sam, I posting a recipe poem tomorrow and all of you have to help me finish it! K.

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  18. Sam, what a lovely blog spot you have here! I'm happy to have found you, and plan on coming back often.

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  19. I couldn't get over the cute paper and packaging either! We have only been to Paris for a long weekend, but I will never forget a single moment.

    I saved the lovely paper my tart was wrapped it. Absolutely too charming.

    We are planning a trip to France for next spring. We have good friends moving to Lyon. Your blog is so inspiring.

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  20. I think if I had an authentic French baguette every day, life would be perfect. Of course, a savory tomato tart would make life even more than perfect!

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  21. I'm drooling. Looks so yummy.

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  22. what a gorgeous patisserie. Now I'm missing France!

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  23. you always take me away to another land...ah, wish I was there! Head over to my site to pick up an award!

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  24. I lived in France a few years (my family 20 years) and loved nothing more than to go get the baguette at the best boulanger in town; now the only good ones have to say "artisanal" next to the name because it means they made the bread on the premises from scratch.
    I loved your description of the charming young woman pointing.. to explain that, no, there'no bread here, bien entendu!

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  25. Hi Sam,
    Some things are a work in progress but I find the humble French patisserie, rejuvenating their secrets of baking and artistry, are full blown works of art.Just the thought of entering one transforms the soul. Best wishes, Therese

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  26. Hola soy nueva en tu blog,me gusta mucho tus relatos las recetas y las fotografías me quedo voy ha ver todas tus publicaciones un beso para los dos

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I enjoy reading each and every comment. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam