Thursday, June 20, 2013

Boulangerie Traditionnelle

I know you've heard of pain de tradition (artisanal baguettes) and there's even saucisson de tradition. In France the word 'tradition' has special cachet, meaning done the old way, made by hand as opposed to industrially-made and is highly prized and sought after.
I'm making up the term (I think) 'patisserie de tradition' so you can recognize the ingredients of an old-fashioned patisserie/boulangerie tout de suite. For one thing they often have brightly colored awnings. No patisserie is more traditional than Maison Stohrer (depuis 1730) on rue Montorgueil. You can't go wrong in here.
Any patisserie de tradition worth its salt will have paintings on glass for sure.
Lots of gold scrolls and decorative motifs.
Plus the essential wheat sower (often an attractive femme) and a windmill or two.
Highly decorative street signs are de rigueur.
And often figurative and silhouetted.

Hand writing on the windows more than likely announcing a prize won for the best baguette or croissant is to be taken note of svp.
Inside look for painting on the walls. There will be starlings, cupids and all kinds of glorious oldie-worldie elements.
Look for FAB decorative tile work.
Old photographs of workers always make my heart go pitter-patter in patisserie traditionnelles.
Natch they will have Macarons. Like who doesn't these days in Paris?
But for sure they will still have the old-fashioned big-as-your-head meringues that were my 1st Parisian love before the macaron came along to steal my heart.
Don't worry. There will be plenty of gorge pastries to gobble up along with the classic madeleines, financiers, chouquettes.
More hand printing on the porte etiquettes. Those charming sign posts in every patisserie in France.
And the little printed paper bags...some of the best of Paris trash out there...sigh
Little French girls haven't changed much thank goodness.
Do not be surprised to hear at the cash register,
"J'pas la monnaie" (I don't have change) when you offer a 10 euro note. Come loaded with change when visiting a patisserie traditionnelle.
C'est comme ca!


  1. I don't know which I like better the desserts or the beautiful architecture & details. All beautiful "eye candy"

  2. Anonymous6:22 AM

    So pretty!
    Love it

  3. Anonymous7:31 AM

    I love your post about Giverny and miniatures...
    There's a one day miniature show next sunday, the SIMP ( Salon International de la Maison de Poupée). It's the most important miniature show in France...
    Porte de Champerret 10h-17h.
    I'll be there at M&M Miniatures table (n°92). Come and say hello!
    Marie-Paule (

  4. J'aime to aquarelle:)

    I would definitely go there Carol..
    They have beautiful shops don't they?

  5. ... and Stohrer invented the "baba au rhum"!

  6. Sigh. Again. These are indeed dangerous spots for moi!I've been inspired by you to whip out the art bits and some photos from France -- my wee painting of macarons and pastries does not stand up, I fear, to your years of experience! I'll probably post it anyway eventually, though I may also try the same one again and again! You make an impact, my friend!

    1. Exactement Jeanie
      Again and again and TRACE from photos, anything.
      that's what I do.
      The Watercolor Book (in the sidebar) is my bible.

  7. So cute and delicious....

  8. Carol, how well this post shows us the value of traditionnelle. It's swell that France recognizes this value and that these patisseries continue to keep the torch pre-heated and to train new generations of bakers.

    The overhead shop signs are fabulous!


  9. Anonymous12:44 PM

    Today was mouth is watering....

  10. The collage at the top of the post is my very favorite of all the ones you have done! And who doesn't love the patisserie!

  11. Patricia2:22 PM

    I could definately lick the window of that Patisserie! You made me hungry...

  12. Along the lines of my private response to you, the top wonderful sketchbook page is exactly what I meant: fabulous!

  13. These are a feast for more than la bouche....what do they do with the extra money they take since they don't have change? Does the business owner get it or do they take it as tips at the end of the day?

    1. Yr kidding?
      What extra monnaie?
      You don't have change?
      You can't buy.
      C'est comme ça.

  14. You are a good friend to Paris!! Always presenting her most entrancing side...

  15. This is such a scrumptious post. I go a little swoony over old photos of bakery workers, too. Why is that?? Have you ever seen the film "La Femme du Boulanger" by Marcel Pagnol? Where the baker is always covered in flour and sleeps in the bakery waiting for the dough to rise? Such a sad and beautiful film. A must see!

  16. Betweteen Paris Brest and Tartelette Framboise,
    wow, sweet dreams to be had by all!

  17. Love the old fashioned meringues. There's a very rarefied air in an old patisserie, it feels like going back in time. I love that.


  18. I too was loving your opening watercolor sketch. Best, Gail

  19. In the same street you can find another very good boulangerie named Collet. It's a nice place as well.

    1. I stopped in Collet - it's a new place trying to look old IMHO


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