Is the 18th neighborhood “the Mecca” for the best Baguettes of Paris? Every year the city of Paris held a biggest bakers city contest for the best baguette of the year. It is the most demanding event of this nature in the world. All about this contest in this article.
Every year around March, hundreds of boulangeries (bakeries) take part in a competition, for an award of 4,000 euros. Also, to become the official baguette supplier to the Elysée Palace (the house of the French president) with a daily delivery of baguettes for one year.
As a fan of NCAA basketball, I like to call this moment “the March Madness of Bread in Paris”. I just love it!
The results are normally published between the end of March and the beginning of April.
The requirements to compete for the best baguettes of Paris award
The participants have to reach the weight and length criteria in their baguettes to compete. The baguette has to be between 55cm and 65cm long. It has to weigh between 250g and 300g.
We know that of these passioned, courageous bakers do not sleep for days. They try to accomplish perfection. One more step closer to the Olympus of bakers Gods. The want the glory, their name in the books of history. Immortality.
Who chooses the winner of the best baguettes of Paris?
The jury is composed of six volunteers, bakers (including the winner of last year’s title), food industry professionals and journalists. They judged on taste, aroma and appearance.
Therefore, is not possible to win the competition two years in a row. Only one bakery achieved to win this competition twice in 2010 & 2015. We are talking about “Le Grenier à Pain” bakery. The baker, Djibril Bodian at 38 rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris. In the Montmartre area close to the Abbesses metro station and the “I love you” wall. Check them out at: le Grenier à Pain.
Personal critics to the 2 times Paris champion of baguettes
In my several visits to this bakery trying to get the two times champion baguette it was a bit of a disappointment. Whenever you go there, you should ask for a warm, right out of the oven, just made baguette champion.
If you do not success to get this, you will get a chewie non fresh one. Almost every time there. That one, is not even in my top 500 baguettes. I think they may just get asleep in their glory days and their day to day marketing products are far from delivering the promise land. It is just a pity!
Nearby you have other “one time” champions of baguettes which are more service oriented. For instance, 2011 winner Pascal Barillon at his “Au Levain d´Anton” nearby at 6 rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris. There are also other one-time champions in this area. Make the test all around yourself and get you own conclusions.
Why these many winners in the 18th? Montmartre the paradise of baguettes in Paris?
In these more than twenty years (closer to 30 years) of baguette battling, the 18th neighborhood is the one with most wins. Just to clarify, do not imaging a “pillow like” fight. I have to clarify this to every single kid I welcome in my tours, even though we may all want to see that one once in our lives.
We may say then that Montmartre is still the Paradise or Mecca of baguettes. Even though in the last years is not the north, but the south of Paris that got the award several times.
Why the north is so different and why that many wins. We do not know for sure, someone said a magic baguettes formula was spread out on the area, maybe the water, no one knows for sure. The magic is intact.
As most of the most iconic cities in the world history, Paris was also built up over seven hills. Montmartre maybe the most mysterious legendary of them all. Maybe that mystic touch, the rocky guts of the mount…
Best bread in Paris nowadays
The old school natural with a young modern breeze fresh crew. The non-industrial processed materials. The meticulous dedication in the making are the new best off this yummy bread wave. This new world, stranger to the official baguette contest are a different hall of fame league waiting to be discovered. As the Portland Mavericks in the baseball matter, the love of bread for the love of bread and nothing else. Simple and beautiful.
According to my personal experience Paris is in constant evolution. There is a brand new generation of bread artisans rocking the whole house out my friends! Healthy, yummy, with passion, with care, details, what else! Nesp…nop!
How can Paris by Martin help you find them?
If you want to have complete list of advices with loads of good addresses, baguettes champions, independent off the beaten track super heros of bread, not known to official competitions, join us.
We Love to mix highlights and off the beaten path in our experiences. We love to discover the hidden side of the most celebrated monuments. Doing all from scratch is a key decision to do it right.