There is no lack of either bread or wine in France. We can happily attest to that. As a matter of fact, the choices were overwhelming when we first arrived here. Steve and I both love bread (and wine!) so finding a boulangerie that suited our tastes was daunting at first. We began early in our arrival trying a different boulangerie each day. A scorecard would have come in handy to keep track of where we had been and what we thought of our trials.
It is often said that “word of mouth” is the only way to find the best. We had been diligently trying “taste of mouth”, so whenever we were in conversation with someone who had lived in Grenoble for a while, we always asked them for referrals for a bonne boulangerie. It was not onerous to track down whomever they recommended. On the contrary, we saw it as an adventure, and we needed the bread anyway.
Our propriétaire, Madame Pellissier, had recommended a nearby baker that she favored. She gave us his card; he is Denis, owner of La Grange à Pains on rue Nicolas Chorrier. One day we were returning from a jog (we are among the few people who do seem to jog in Grenoble), and we realized that we were running past Denis’s boulangerie. We had about un euro on us so we decided to stop and try ses baguettes. We were still a little winded, and so lui et ses clients looked at us a little strangely. At our turn at the counter, Steve made his now famous declaration, “Je suis une baguette”, and our relationship was established.
Since then we frequent Denis quelques matinées par semaine. There is another boulangerie (surprise, surprise!) closer to our apartment where we have stopped, but the bread doesn’t compare to M. Denis’s. We think Denis is pleased to see us, especially when there are other clients in the shop. He closes his eyes and nods his head and proudly informs them with a shrug that “Ils sont américains. Ils aiment mes pains” Then they all smile and nod their heads in return. Then they listen to our attempts speaking French to Denis and smile some more.
I stopped by Denis’s shop after this morning’s rush to pick up some bread and take pictures. He is very interested in the idea of the blog and wants me to print pictures for him. His boulangerie is small, but full of character. There is a birdcage hanging from the ceiling with a bird escaping. He decorates with flowers and antique pieces related to boulangeries of long ago. I asked him if he or sa femme was responsible for the look of the place. He was almost indignant as he answered, “Pas une femme. Moi!” A true artisan!
As for us, we are walking notre rue.… Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain quotidien!
- boulangerie: bakery
- propriétaire: landlady
- ses baguettes: his baguettes
- lui et ses clients: he and his customers
- Je suis une baguette: I am a baguette.
- quelques matinées par semaine: a few mornings a week
- Ils sont américains. Ils aiment mes pains: They are Americans. They love my breads.
- sa femme: his wife
- Pas une femme. Moi!: Not a woman. Me!
- notre rue: our road
- Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain quotidien.: Give us this day our daily bread!