One of my favorite experiences in France has been the boulangeries. The back wall is lined with baskets of baguettes and other breads, while the display cases are filled with everything from €,80 croissants to €16,00 tartes. My favorite snacks were plain croissants or chausson pommes, an apple filled pastry, but I would love a chance to taste anything in those bakeries.
The boulangeries are wonderful all over France, but the Le Vignaud experience was special. There is no boulangerie in the village, so the bread is delivered several times a week in a bread truck. The driver would blast his horn and park a few houses away, and after running upstairs for my wallet I would trot down the street and stand with the other villagers as we bought our bread for the day. It was a good chance to say hello to the neighbors and let them know I can say more than “Bonjour,” although there’s not much more than that. I was able to practice my numbers in French when the driver told me the total, and I tried to make small talk. But even with the language barrier, it was still an integral part of my stay in France and specifically Le Vignaud.
Every morning I bought one or two baguettes for our meals, and a croissant for however many guests Jason was entertaining that morning. I looked forward to having that connection with rural French life, and buying my bread for the day became a sort of ritual. You could live in Paris all your life, but you will only see a bread truck in the tiny villages that many townies have never heard of. What a luxury to have that delicious bread delivered to your door, fresh every day, but in Le Vignaud it is just a matter of fact!