Today as I was on my way to the grocery store, I passed by a bakery on Blvd de Grenelle called Poilâne. This bakery is not like the usual Parisian bakeries that you will find on almost every street corner. This chain of shops first opened in 1932 when a young baker from Normandy came to Paris to open his first shop. The first one was in the Saint- Germain des Prés district. Today, there are 2 shops in Paris and 1 in London.
What makes this bakery special from the others? They are famous for their large round off-white crumb sourdough loaves that are baked in wood fired ovens. Most Parisians are known to eat baguettes, but before these were available, the sourdough loaves were the bread of France. The breads are even customizable, allowing up to 26 characters to be crafted out of bread and placed on top of your loaf.
If you happen to pass by this bakery on a regular basis, you will notice that they often have sculptures in the windows of the bakery. The reason for this leads back to 1969 when Salvador Dali met the owner of the bakery, Lionel Poilâne. He soon began to order objects and sculptures made out of bread. In 1971, he even ordered a whole bedroom made out of bread. He apparently wanted to find out if he had mice in his house!
This week, there is a bread Eiffel Tower scene in the windows of the famous bakery. You can get more information about the shops and history from their website here http://www.poilane.fr/index.php?passer=1