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Savory le Palmier, a Sweet Memoire

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Have you ever been to Paris?

One of my greatest associations with that great city is the great many boulangeries sprinkled throughout every neighborhood. What a joy it is to walk past these places inhale deeply and take a quick peek in the window at the array of delicious baked goods. There is no experience quite like it in this country. Somehow we have grown into a carb-abhorrent, gluten-fearing mass of cowering humanity. We have come see food as the enemy.

But not the Parisians, they embrace life and all its flavors, it seems to me. I am sure the reality is more complicated. But when I am in Paris I have very little interest in reality.

The first time I walked those streets it was the 1980s. I was quite young and a tad romantic; armed with just enough French to feel cocky I decided to conquer all the sights, sounds and yes, flavors I could in one brief two day visit. One of the first stops was indeed a boulangerie. Now, I was no patsy to the ways of French pastry. My mother had been making brioche at home since my childhood. But all the unusual bread shapes struck me: baton, bloomer, boule, epi, ficelle, fougasse, pistolets…the list seemed endless.

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