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Baguette de Paris


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#1 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 06:58 AM

This competition escaped my notice until I picked it up on the viaMichelin newsletter Looks interesting.

The best baguette in Paris has got to be one of the best baguettes in the world. Can anybody chime in with their personal experience of or preferences amongst the winners? Or is there a baguette lurking out there that wasn't in the competition?

#2 John Talbott

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 12:31 PM

This competition escaped my notice until I picked it up on the viaMichelin newsletter Looks interesting.
The best baguette in Paris has got to be one of the best baguettes in the world. Can anybody chime in with their personal experience of or preferences amongst the winners? Or is there a baguette lurking out there that wasn't in the competition?

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I'm embarassed to say that even though I hail from the 18th, I don't know a one (by taste) even though I pass them.
But I will change my ways after this.
Thanks Dave.
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#3 Ptipois

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 01:38 PM

Boulangerie Laurent Bonneau, 76 rue d'Auteuil, 16e.
(One of the great baguettes of Paris, not mentioned in the article.)

Edited by Ptipois, 07 April 2007 - 12:48 AM.


#4 John Talbott

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 12:13 AM

Well, not trusting my palate alone, I invited Phyllis/Felice to break the bread of the winning baguette from Arnaud Delmontel in the 18th. When I picked it up at 4:20 PM it was delightfully warm and the crust really crusty; when we tasted it at 8 PM it was OK, the crust a bit less impressive but the interior was not knock your socks off. In fact, the bread at Les Jumeaux, which recently underwent a change in management and cuisine, was infinitely superior, but more about that later. However, to judge it fairly, I think a further test is necessary putting Delmontel up against the four other bakers and an anchor like Banette.
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#5 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:26 AM

Well, not trusting my palate alone, I invited Phyllis/Felice to break the bread of the winning baguette from Arnaud Delmontel in the 18th.  When I picked it up at 4:20 PM it was delightfully warm and the crust really crusty; when we tasted it at 8 PM it was OK, the crust a bit less impressive but the interior was not knock your socks off.  In fact, the bread at Les Jumeaux, which recently underwent a change in management and cuisine, was infinitely superior, but more about that later.  However, to judge it fairly, I think a further test is necessary putting Delmontel up against the four other bakers and an anchor like Banette.

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John, I'll be following your further tests closely.

I only wish there were a way to get your Parisian baguettes down to here & vice versa as I'd like to see how some of my local favourites fare against the big city types. Hard to do as as you point out freshness is critical.

Happy munching!

#6 Laidback

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 03:26 AM

I haven't tried Del Montel in the 18th, but have been many times to his 1st place on Martyrs. To me they are usually acceptable to very good, but there is a bit of inconsistency from one batch to the next. I order his Renaissance, pas bien cuite. This is such a subjective thing and actually I prefer the baguettes at Moissan who have a Bourdalou branch by Notre Dame des Lorettes, however Del Montel's patisseries are usually excellent, not surprising since he trained at Gerard Mulot. It is nice to have so many choices close to hand, compared to the paucity of bakeries at home.

#7 naf

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 07:27 AM

Best bakeries in Paris according to CNN Travel :

Croissants
Maison Kayser 14 Rue Monge, Fifth Arr.; 33-1/44-07-17-81; closed Mondays

Sourdough loaves
Le Boulanger de Monge 123 Rue Monge, Fifth Arr.; 33-1/43-37-54-20; closed Mondays
recommended also: pain bio au levain

Miche
Poilâne 8 Rue du Cherche-Midi, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/45-48-42-59; closed Sundays
recommanded also: big round miche, apple tart

Baguettes
Gosselin 125 Rue St.-Honoré, First Arr.; 33-1/45-08-03-59; closed Saturdays
recommanded also: lunch baguette sandwiches

Pain aux raisins
Moulin de la Vierge 166 Ave. de Suffren, 15th Arr.; 33-1/47-83-45-55; closed Thursdays

Pain au chocolat
Boulangerie Bechu 118 Ave. Victor Hugo; 33-1/47-27-97-79; closed Mondays
recommanded also: pain au chocolat orange, pain au chocolat coco-banane

Croissants aux amandes
La Flûte Gana 226 Rue des Pyrénées, 20th Arr.; 33-1/43-58-42-62; closed Sundays and Mondays
recommanded also: brioche vendéenne

Fougasse
Pain D'Épis 63 Ave. Bosquet; 33-1/45-51-75-01; closed Saturdays

Edited by naf, 25 April 2007 - 07:34 AM.


#8 naf

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 07:43 AM

Gosselin: "The baguette is the bread of Parisians," "It has a life span of just six hours."

#9 John Talbott

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 02:53 PM

Well, not trusting my palate alone, I invited Phyllis/Felice to break the bread of the winning baguette from Arnaud Delmontel in the 18th.  When I picked it up at 4:20 PM it was delightfully warm and the crust really crusty; when we tasted it at 8 PM it was OK, the crust a bit less impressive but the interior was not knock your socks off.  In fact, the bread at Les Jumeaux, which recently underwent a change in management and cuisine, was infinitely superior, but more about that later.  However, to judge it fairly, I think a further test is necessary putting Delmontel up against the four other bakers and an anchor like Banette.

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Act II: Tonight, ironically the same night as the Presidential Debate took place (if you want our opinion we think M. Sarkozy was strong on money, security and employment and Mme Royal on schooling, the 35 hours for people in dead-end jobs, and grand visions) but we were alone, unjoined by experts from the NYTimes + other media.
So on our second taste test of the baguettes in the top five we tried two and we split right down the middle: Mme Flick liked #3 from the Coquelicot des Abbesses, Thierry Racoillet and Sylvie Fourmont, 24, rue des Abesses, 75018 Paris for its dense center and M. Talbott prefered that from Alexandre Planchais, 40, rue Lepic, 75018 Paris (a block away) for its crispy crust.
Join us next month for the test between #2 and 5.
John and Phyllis
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#10 sharonb

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 08:41 PM

I used to live in the Abbesses neighborhood and to me, by far the best bread in the area is at the boulangerie on the part of the rue des Abbesses that descends toward the rue des Martyrs after the Poste. Excellent pain au levain also.

Coquelicot, to me, is all looks, no taste. And the Gana outpost on the corner of the rue des Martyrs just turns out super salty, though light and crunchy, flutes. Their quiches and other tartes salées are delicious, that said.

The best bread in a larger scope was on the other side of the Montmartre Cemetery, after the rue des Abbesses turns into the rue Joseph de Maistre (my former street); keep going up the rue Damrémont and there, before you hit the cheese shop Chez Virginie, you will find a boulangerie with an excellent baguette de tradition.

Along with those places, now that I live near the Place Monge in the 5th, I have to say I have been resoundingly disappointed with the bread around here. Moissan is the best, but not excellent; the Boulanger de Monge is better for plain baguettes than "tradition" (though they have their own names for them); Kayser has a sourdough taste I don't like too much, though their light, thin "Monge" regular baguette is good; the Gana affiliate on the rue Mouffetard is one of the better ones...

In any case, I could go on but will stop there. Since I never eat out (too costly, and since I like to cook and like wine, really not cost-effective either), I have mental notes on innumerable "commerces de bouche" in this city!

#11 John Talbott

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:07 AM

I used to live in the Abbesses neighborhood and to me, by far the best bread in the area is at the boulangerie on the part of the rue des Abbesses that descends toward the rue des Martyrs after the Poste. Excellent pain au levain also.

You're the third person who's mentioned that place, a definate try next competition, although I think Phyllis has already tried it.

The best bread in a larger scope was on the other side of the Montmartre Cemetery, after the rue des Abbesses turns into the rue Joseph de Maistre (my former street); keep going up the rue Damrémont and there, before you hit the cheese shop Chez Virginie, you will find a boulangerie with an excellent baguette de tradition.

You are spot on the #1 in the competition; were you on the jury,? but unfortunately as we said upthread

the bread of the winning baguette from Arnaud Delmontel in the 18th. When I picked it up at 4:20 PM it was delightfully warm and the crust really crusty; when we tasted it at 8 PM it was OK, the crust a bit less impressive but the interior was not knock your socks off.

Clearly you have to return to the 18th and show us how to eat and buy bread.
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#12 Ptipois

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 04:13 AM

Along with those places, now that I live near the Place Monge in the 5th, I have to say I have been resoundingly disappointed with the bread around here. Moissan is the best, but not excellent; the Boulanger de Monge is better for plain baguettes than "tradition" (though they have their own names for them); Kayser has a sourdough taste I don't like too much, though their light, thin "Monge" regular baguette is good; the Gana affiliate on the rue Mouffetard is one of the better ones...

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Since you live in my neighborhood (I'm a place Monge girl too), I'll give you a precious tip: on marché Monge, every Sunday (maybe also on Fridays and Wednesdays too, we should check), there is a boulangerie stall that sells outstanding levain bread, with a gorgeous baguette. Better than all the places you've mentioned.

I like Moisan, though. I'm not too keen on Le Boulanger de Monge whose bread I find too chewy, but it keeps a long time, which means it's based on a good recipe and good products (have you tried eating two-day-old Poilâne?); i've grown tired of Kayser after having had a few bad experiences.
But the very best baguette in the 5e is near the Panthéon, on rue des Fossés-Saint-Jacques, at a boulangerie run by Italian bakers. Right where the street widens into a small square before separating into rue Lhomond and rue de l'Estrapade.

#13 sharonb

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 07:00 AM

I completely agree with you! And now will check out the boulanger at the marché. The worst boulangerie in the area was on my street (rue Larrey), but it closed a couple of months ago and now a new Boulanger de Monge outpost is going to open there, apparently.

I think I know the boulangerie you're talking about near the Panthéon - they have unbelievably delicious Succès (both the usual praliné and also pistachio). I haven't tried their bread yet, though. Good to know.

Sometimes when I'm coming from the other side of the Seine on foot, I go by the rue Dauphine and then sneak into a great boulangerie on the otherwise unbreathable rue de Buci, which is the best baguette (de tradition) I've found on the left bank.

As for Poilâne... if I never had another slice of that type bread, I would not shed a single tear!

Anyway - getting back to the best baguette theme: why are they always concentrated in the upper reaches of Paris? The 18th has several, and in the 17th, the rue des Batignolles alone has two or three...

#14 John Talbott

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 07:14 AM

Anyway - getting back to the best baguette theme: why are they always concentrated in the upper reaches of Paris? The 18th has several, and in the 17th, the rue des Batignolles alone has two or three...

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Great question. I've only been watching these results for a few years, but I can never recall 4 of the top 5 from any area, far less the 18th.
Our French-French friends in the food biz would know if people are self-nominated, nominated by locals (in which case the "sqeaky wheel" may etc) or if there's some systematic way of scanning the boulangerie horizon. Maybe this was just the 18th's turn. And I selfishly say - about time.
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#15 John Talbott

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 04:34 AM

See here for a REPORT on a formal tasting and a couple of informal ones.
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#16 John Talbott

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 01:40 AM

Last week, this year’s (eg 2008) winner was announced. Perhaps not surprisingly it was last year’s third place finisher - Anis Bouadsa, 32-34 rue Tristan-Tzara in the 18th who also finished third in a private tasting at my place last year.
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