on sandwiches and their filling…


“Life is just a shit sandwich” – discuss. There are those of us that read, when seated on the porcelain throne, and those that write. The writers among us seem to choose to do this on walls and only in public lavatories as, to this point, I have never seen any pithy epithets scribbled on the walls of the lavatories in the homes of friends and family, yet those straining scribes must have homes to go to which means that either I don’t know any of them or that it may well be a natural law which prevents the writing hand from creating on home soil (apposite, eh?). I say this in passing (close!) as it was bread that was on my mind this morning rather than coprophagia. On firing up my computer yesterday I noticed that the Google logo featured the “Decrét Pain” which led me to use Google to Google information on that which was decreed in that Decrét and when. As a decree it wasn’t very interesting and, as with the majority of decrees, not heeded or, when it was, not very successfully: which is a shame as bread is a daily pleasure for me and I wish our baker would heed the Lord’s prayer and give me my daily bread as opposed to demanding money for it…another example of an unsuccessful decree. The upshot of the Décret Pain is that, although it’s attempt to stop the inclusion of additives in bread was well meaning  and sensible, it appears that it has not been entirely successful in seducing the populace to eat more bread. In fact, the reverse is true meaning that the French are eating less bread which is a shame as they are replacing the snacked warm baguette with gobfulls of the crap that they didn’t used to eat and so, rather than the svelte derrière Francaise that was universally ogled, soon they will sport the fat arse that is the badge of  affluent Western society. On the brighter side of the coin there is a surge in popularity for artisan bakers who are defined thus: “an artisan baker is one who is trained to the highest ability to mix, ferment, shape and bake a hand crafted loaf of bread. They understand the science behind the chemical reactions of the ingredients and know how to provide the best environment for the bread to develop”. We have a good baker in our local village who, from the taste of his bread, complies with this description yet sensibly does not have a sign which defines him as a ” boulanger artisanal”. In today’s world of self promotion there is only room for positive superlatives, which makes terms such as the best, the biggest, and the most appear meaningless as there is no comparative, so I’m delighted to go to this small boulangerie that is always running out of bread because the bread is so good. The shop will close at 2.30, denuded of bread, only to reopen at 4.oo with shelves and baskets filled with freshly baked, still warm, breads and pastries. Our daily bread is a twofold operation here in France.


With regard to the opening proposition: It is clear that the more bread one has, the less of the filling one has to eat. As bread is in such short supply for the majority of the planet’s population the proposition remains undeniably true.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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25 Responses to on sandwiches and their filling…

  1. Bev James says:

    Always makes me laugh, thankyou ! Having just returned from our boulangerie with a warm paper bag full of freshly baked croissanty delights ( I had to wander about for half an hour as, like your b, it’s always running out of bread and pastries ), I enjoyed this blog even more

  2. bizzyella says:

    Great pair of photos! I have bakers like yours here in Paris but in the countryside, augh, it’s not good. Maybe we can work out a drone delivery service of some kind.

  3. ghetran says:

    Yummy! I love your writing and I love French bread! 😉 But at home I´m trying to stay away from the gorgeousness, ´cause it makes me curvy! 😉

  4. Misky says:

    Good afternoon, Roger. I’d love to know more about that loaf (pictured). Rye and strong wheat? Malt extract? Look at the rise on that beauty…

  5. Love the rye loaf! We were just talking at breakfast about the French habits of twice daily bread and how nothing but the freshest would do. American bread habits are evolving but are still far from that..

    • I’ve always liked the concept that a baguette will only stay fresh for half a day! The idea of munching of bits of warm baguette as you carried it home is so much better than munching on the artificial snacks that have flooded the market….good bread eaten in moderation isn’t going to pile on the pounds:)

  6. I think in another life I might have been (or perhaps just wanted to be) an artisan baker. Sadly in Spain they are now moving to processed sliced bread 😦 it’s called Pan Bimbo (that’s a make) or Pan de Molde (made in a tin) which really just about sums up they way they are headed….

  7. ardysez says:

    If I lived in France I would have to leave it. The good bread there is so good it would be my undoing. Sadly, I have lost the ability to digest bread. It is one of the few regrets I have in my life and it’s not even my doing. Your observations about public writings are very funny, and true! I wonder if that proclivity is a secret desire for fame or validation? Or???

  8. MELewis says:

    Happily we also have a good baker in our village…although I admit it’s not always easy to find in the country and some of the fancier grain options are less available. Agree that the absence of superlatives is one of the bonuses of living in France. Sadly, however, half the world seems to stuff their faces with packaged snacks while the other buys into the idea the carbs, including bread, make you fat. *Sigh*

  9. catterel says:

    German visitors staying with me in Brittany complained that “French bread doesn’t keep” and scoured the various supermarkets looking for sourdough loaves. Their inability to appreciate either baguettes r pain de campagne spoilt their holiday for them and ensured they never got invited back.

  10. Mary Frances says:

    Artisanal is thrown around so much now, it’s hard to know what to trust! But good bread equals good life for me 🙂

  11. Mad Dog says:

    If I don’t get down to the St. John by mid day there’s no bread to be had, though since Justin left and set up on his own (Bread Ahead), I have the option of the extra journey on to Borough Market to buy his different but very good bread, if I’m late.

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