Follow Your Nose to the Annual "Fête du Pain" (Bread Festival) in Paris

Fête du Pain" ("Bread Festival") in Paris

Mmmm! If you're planning to attend the annual "Fête du Pain" ("Bread Festival") in Paris, just follow your nose to the large tent in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral from May 8 to 18. It's where French bakers and pastry chefs invite visitors to learn about one of France's most revered professions. Not surprisingly, the celebration coincides with the name day of Saint-Honoré, the profession's patron saint.

During the award ceremony for the "Best Traditional Baguette of the City of Paris" this morning, Christophe Girard, the Mayor of the 4th arrondissement, spoke of the important role that neighborhood bakeries play in the lives of all Parisians. It starts when a child is allowed to go to the bakery on his own for the very first time. Wide-eyed and proud of his new found independence, the little Parisian plops the money on the counter to purchase his first baguette. On the way home, he breaks off the tip, "le quignon" of the warm baguette and pops it in his mouth. It's a ritual, part of the culture of France, that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Fête du Pain" ("Bread Festival") in Paris

This year's winner of the "Best Baguette" competition is Antonio Teixeira of the Délices du Palais in the 14th arrondissement. In addition to a cash prize of 4,000 euros, Teixeira will also have the honor of supplying the Elysée Palace, the home of French President Hollande, with his award-winning baguettes for the next year. But the 24 year old is not the only talented baker in his family. Antonio's father won the illustrious "Best Baguette" award in 1998. To win the grand prize, the baguette must measure between 55 and 65 cm, weigh between 250 and 300 grams and have a salt content of 18 grams per kilo of flour.

One of the judges of the competition, Élodie Berta of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, has promised to tell us what it was like to select the "Best Baguette" in an upcoming blog post. With 187 delicious contenders, I'm sure that it wasn't an easy task!

In the meantime, be sure to visit the "Fête du Pain" to learn more about bakers and their products. While I was there this morning, I discovered why French croissants taste so incredibly delicious.

Please click here to see more photos of the Fête du Pain.

Fête du Pain (Bread Festival) from May 8-18
Large tent in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral
75004 Paris

Antonio Teixeira of the Délices du Palais, winner of this year's
"Best Traditional Baguette of the City of Paris" competition.

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