Though the French have taken a beating in the States for their duplicity re: the Iraq war, food takes priority over politics. The other day I was thinking about a famous French artisan bread maker — and I had their web site bookmarked: Poil�ne.Their site has a clean and simple look. Here’s some interesting history:
It was in 1932 that Pierre Poil�ne opened a bakery at N� 8 rue du Cherche-Midi in the Saint Germain des Pr�s district of Paris. He made bread in his own way, with stone-ground flour, natural fermentation using leaven and a wood-fired baking oven.
After the war, white bread was more popular than brown bread, which symbolized difficult years. But the Poil�ne firm continued with its traditional baking methods, and people soon began to call it Poil�ne bread.
Of course, some of the narrative is a bit over the top:
The merit of the Poil�ne Company is that it has been able to preserve the ancestral techniques of bread making.
In its own special spirit of “retro-innovation”, it has improved on them in the right ways to succeed in defining a manufacturing process that is the only one of its kind in the world.
If I’m ever back in Paris, I’d like to visit one of Poil�ne’s shops. By the way, that sourdough loaf weighs 4.2 lbs. That’ll feed a family of four and still leave plenty to sop up leftover sauce on the plate.