On my way to Grammaire class each morning at the Sorbonne, I would pass by Boulangerie Bruno Solques. Most mornings, I resisted the temptation to purchase des croissants, du pain au chocolat, une tarte aux pommes which were still warm from the morning oven.
However, when in Paris…
In the Quartier Latin, there are many boulangeries and, for the most part, you can find delicious, fresh breads and pastries. One thing that sets Bruno Solques’ boulangerie apart from his competition, however, is his unique, less edible food sculptures which line the wall. Bruno is an artisan boulanger-pâtissier, whose tableaux happens to be food.
In addition to unique sculptures from nature of animal heads, vegetables and flowers, Bruno creates beautiful Crèches de Noël, which he displays during the Christmas season. As a collector of Crèches from around the world, I tried to purchase on of his creations. He said, “Ils ne sont pas à vendre. Ils sont pour le plaisir de mes clients, seulement.” (They are not for sell. They are for the pleasure of my patrons, only). I get that. I benefited from that even more as I saw them displayed in his boulangerie.
Of course, in addition to great pastries, Bruno has the BEST flan in Paris. While living in Paris, and subsequent visits after, I have sampled flan from many boulangeries and have yet to find a better flan than Bruno’s. It’s not too sweet and has a soft, silky texture. Très délicieux!
In fact, when visiting one August, Bruno did NOT have his famous flan prepared. The éleveur de volailles (poultry farmer), whose eggs he purchases to make his flan, was on holiday and because Bruno is loyal to his suppliers, he would not purchase eggs from a different éleveur. Voila- pas volailles, pas flan! I appreciate that loyalty; but I really missed my flan that trip!
Copyright 2018 by Robyn Lowrie. May be quoted in part or full only with attribution to Robyn Lowrie (www.frenchquest.com)