Saturday, 8 June 2013

Meeting The French- Boulangerie Esnault

Three years ago we had an amazing family holiday in Paris. Next week we leave for Paris again. I'm a bit excited. So of course my thoughts are turning towards Paris once again. 

One of the many highlights of our last trip was a visit to a working bakery which we booked through a company called Meeting the French. At the time we visited what was the oldest working bakery in Paris, Boulangerie Esnault, 51 rue de Richelieu, 75001. It was celebrating 200 years of business. Sadly it has now closed it's doors due to rising rents. 

It was a great experience. Meeting the French sent along a translator so that we tourists all understood what was being said. It was great to see the bakery cat wander through looking nonplussed in the way of all cats, wonderful that a bakery cat is even allowed, I'm sure it wouldn't be here. 







It was a fascinating glimpse into the world of two French staples. Baguettes and croissants. We learnt that boulangeries are quite regulated in France. Their days off are mandated so that all the bakeries in a certain area are not closed on the same day. Their holiday periods are assigned to ensure that the people have access to bread. The ingredients of a baguette are controlled. The French take their bread very seriously, and rightly so. 


We watched the process of making baguettes, and got some hands on action too. 


We learnt how to roll croissants, and that the shape is also an indicator of ingredients. Butter croissants traditionally are straight, while the crescent shaped croissants are generally made from margarine. 




Meeting the French still run a boulangerie tour at another bakery, and a range of great other tours. Perhaps we'll do another tour this trip? I hope so. It was a fascinating insight into French culture and food. 

Saturday Snapshot is a wonderful weekly meme now hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy

22 comments:

Brona Joy said...

I don't normally eat a lot of cakes, bread or pastries, but those photos tempted even me Louise!
I bet you're counting down the sleeps until your trip. I look forward to the photos and posts on your return.
Until then, bon voyage xo

Frances Stiles said...

Oh, my Gosh...now I'm starving!! I was thinking about sweets last night, now I know my day needs to include a trip to the bakery!

drbethnolan said...

oh my -- now I'm hungry, too!! It really looks amazing. We recently took a tour in a sourdough bread factory in SF and the kids loved it. I personally loved the smell!!
beth ;)

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

This could be my post-librarian career. Could I find a French bakery that would take me as an apprentice at sixty?

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I can almost smell the goodies! Wonderful shots...and thanks for sharing.

Here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

A feast for the eyes for sure -- wonderful shots.

vicki (skiourophile) said...

That's sounds like something I would love to do next time in Paris. And I adore the idea that the bakery cat just wanders through. I guess bakeries do attract mice, so it would certainly be worth employing one!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

What a fun experience - I can almost smell the bread!

Jackie/Jake said...

What a shame it had to close!! I would love to have seen the bakery cat wandering around.

Melinda Ott said...

Those look delish! Now I'm hungry!

bermudaonion said...

How fun! I'd be excited to go back to Paris too!

Joy said...

That sounds like a really interesting tour! We loved the bread and pastries in France.

Joy's Book Blog

Ginx Craft said...

Those pastries and bread look so scrummy.

gautami tripathy said...


Yummy photos!!

Here is my snapshot post

Susan said...

What a wonderful experience! And beautiful photos. It's terrible that the bakery with so much history closed.
Have a great trip!

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

I enjoy these kind of tours. I've never met a bakery I didn't like... and the bread looks fantastic!

Marg said...

This sounds like an amazing experience! I can't wait to live through you vicariously as you travel this time!

Esme said...

Louise,

I did one of their bakery tours and loved it. We had the best baker who talked and talked so the tour ended up being much longer. it was great. the translator was also great-I speak French and her translation was dead on for the most part.

Oliver Roellinger has a spice shop in Paris it is in the 14th. I did not go in given that I had spent a lot of time in his shop in Cancale.

Paulita said...

You always find such amazing things to do while in France. I feel like I sit around and gawk at things. This sounds great and the photos are terrific. Are you going to be posting from Paris? Here's Mine

DoingDewey said...

That looks like a wonderful place to visit! I also love that they had a bakery cat :)

Wrighty said...

How fun! It sounds like a wonderful trip! The day at the bakery must have been amazing and your photos are terrific. How sad that such a treasure (and art form) has closed. Enjoy your next trip and I look forward to those photos too!

Vicki said...

Have a great trip! Looking forward to some photos in your upcoming Saturday Snapshot posts!

I've always wanted to visit France. Maybe one day...
Here's My SS