My French Bread Secret (Though Not Necessarily a French-Bread Secret)

“I was an intern in Bordeaux, and on my picturesque walk from my office to my apartment, I would buy bread at Au Pétrin Moissagais on the Cours de la Martinique. On their bags, they noted that they bake their traditional Gascon bread in an oven that dates from the reign of Louis XV (the oven was built in 1765). I liked to think of it: The oven older than my country. And the bread was perfection, although the lady who worked the counter (the baker’s wife) was a little on the mean side. I know about the trope of Gallic rudeness, but I’ve honestly had little experience with it myself. I brushed it off by remembering that she probably wakes up at 4 a.m.—who wouldn’t be cranky. I forget the actual prices for everything, but I was there during the Euro’s peak value against the dollar, and the two things cheaper in France were bakery items (bread, pastries) and wine.” —Sunny Schomaker



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