Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Trip of the Teeth

It is common during the day and especially at day's end to see people on bikes, on le metro, walking, all carrying the staple of French cuisine: the baguette.

It is the great equalizer: baguettes cost one euro. A baguette is good enough to eat just for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner.

I have fallen in love with the baguettes from Julien's Boulangerie. Most Paris baguettes are delicious, but there is something extra special about Julien's baguettes. The contrast of crunch on the outside and softness on the inside is mouth watering even writing about it. When topped slathered with butter, it could easily be my choice of treat over any other delicacy.

When we learn that most boulangeries open at 6:30 a.m., we wonder how early a baker has to rise in order to make fresh baguettes.

Tony: "I bet they're up at 2:00 a.m."

Me: "They probably start at four. Two and a half hours would allow the bread to raise, bake and be fresh on the counter."

Tony: "Let's ask next time we're at the boulangerie."

All too soon, we are at the boulangerie, and we ask the woman at the counter, who by now has become Tony's friend. Enough to give us "My macaroons" on the last day.

"What time do the bakers start making baguettes?"

She laughs, "Ah, they never start or stop. We make baguettes everyday all day."

We underestimated the job of supplying baguettes to millions of Parisians and two hungry, baguette-adoring, tourists.
Bags of baguettes waiting for their customers

Ah but this is the trip of the teeth, and the revered baguette becomes a weapon, a sharp edged sword, a hammer to the mouth.  Tony bites into a crunchy Julien's baguette and withers when he pulls a popped veneer from the top of his mouth. Another Paris adventure springs into action. A dentist search, a fast and frantic bike ride up the Champs Elysee to the Parisian cosmetic dentist, an entire dentist visit in the French language, proof of Tony's proficiency. Within an hour, Tony is relieved and content, only to return home, take another delicate bite of croissant to pop the same veneer. A return to Cabinet Dentiste, with a stern warning to avoid crunchy bagettes. But how does one avoid the temptation?

The veneer stays in place for another few days, but it pops off just in time for our adventure in St. Malo-- perfect timing--it is the island of ancient corsaires: pirates.

A lesson in vanity and humor for both of us. As we attempt a selfie one day, we make sure we're both positioned in the direction that doesn't reveal our missing, beat up teeth. Arghhhh...

We arrived home yesterday; but France continues. Technically I'm home, but my writing self is still in France with so many tales left to tell.