Bad bread in Paris?

Why yes, yes you can get a mediocre, burned-on-the-bottom-and-rather-flavorless baguette in Paris.

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Bakeries are all over Paris, in every arrondissement, every neighborhood, and sometimes it seems like every street. Some specialize in bread, others in pastries, some do both–but not always equally well. We definitely have our favorites nearby. Aux Pains de Manon for baguettes and croissants. Desgranges for pastries. La Pâtisserie des Rêves for still more pastries, although it’s a bit of a walk, so we don’t get there often–which is probably just as well…

Manon is closed Mondays, so I today I picked up a baguette from a bakery I hadn’t tried before. It seemed okay when the woman handed it to me, but then I got home, pulled it out of the bag, sliced into it, and saw a spray of black crumbs!

It wasn’t the first mediocre baguette I’ve had in Paris, and it probably won’t be the last. Unless I just stick to Manon. Maybe I will.

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