French Bread Aha Moments

When you hear the words "French Bread" you think of long loaves of hard crusted fancy looking white bread...That is when you are an American eating bread in America. It was useful for mopping up spaghetti sauce and seemed a bit pretentious. All crust and not much flavor, really.

That is until you go to Paris. 

Hot and hungry from marching down the Champs-Elysees. Then your first baguette sandwich bought from a street vendor gives French Bread a whole new meaning. Your first Pain du Thon (tuna sandwich) is transformational. Food in France is life. Your whole existence is instantly whisked away from mundane American fast food; the term 'french fry' suddenly sounds insulting. Practically a new life form, the sweetness of a freshly baked baguette with a properly crunchy crust cracks and flakes as you eat it. So this is what they were talking about! The idea of food begins to breath a new relevance - you at that point are suddenly an American in Paris and the world is a great symphony of form and beauty (you hear music I'm thinking!) and it is a sentimental formality and accessible beauty that loves quality in all its expressions. 

Then when one returns home to the US, food and eating is somehow transformed - it might not have been that one baguette from the vendor on the Champs-Elysees (or maybe it was) but the message is clear - the French understand food and now you realize you might want to know more about French cuisine and cuisine of all sorts. 

One starts to discover things. One thing we discovered recently was that we could order freshly baked bread from the Poilane Bakery in Paris which can be delivered in several days to the US (https://www.poilane.com/en). So we ordered a couple sandwich loaves.  and are still thinking about experimenting with the loaf and a half frozen in my basement freezer. 

 We just ordered a couple loaves of Poilane's famous sourdough that comes in a big round loaf with an artistic "P" on its top. The bread was prodigious in size and mass. It weighs almost 4 pounds! It has a thick hard crust and should be handled carefully in order to slice it.

 

One cuts it in half and then in quarters. It impressed me that here was one loaf of bread that was dense enough, I did not need the Nicer Slicer to cut it wafer thin.

 

We could cut it thinly and then put two slices in the same slot of the toaster as we learned is the Poilane family custom, which keeps the inside of the two slices soft while caramelizing and crunching the outside- a Nicer Slicer forte! We had lots of fun with this bread anyway. We experimented with several recipes from Apollonia's great cookbook and we are excited to try more of them as well as we are to order some of the other varieties of Poilane's artistry. More experiments to come!

We  want to wish you Happy Holidays. Please take note of our Holiday Sale which ends December 31, 2020. We are offering the Nicer Slicer at 10% off the regular retail price of $69.95. Slicers make great gifts! Be safe and take care of friends and family. In the future we will always look back at 2020 with gratitude it was in the past.

Regards,
Sandy Schirmer

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