One of the most popular clichés about the French is their baguette. And, as a French lady, I can confirm that it is not only a cliché it is a fact. Yes, we eat the baguette, we eat it in the morning, on the way to home, at lunch, at diner… We love our baguette, our crispy bread. Mmmm… The baguette to the French is like the potato to the Dutch, the pasta to the Italians. It is in our DNA, we grow up with it, we love it, we cherish it.
So, when I moved in The Netherlands about ten years ago I had to face the cruel reality: the Dutchies do not eat bread, I mean “real” bread. They call it bread but it is not; at least not to someone who had the wonderful chance to have a grand-father who was a baker. My grand-father had his own bakery with its own wood stove, and he cherished every single baguette, flûte, ficelle, pain rond, croissant… that got in and out of this stove. It was not only a job, it was his life, his passion.
Anyway, when I moved in here I had to learn to appreciate those kind of “sandwich bread” (it took some time) and I have to admit now that it can be tasty and enjoyable. But deeply inside, I never stopped the hunt to the perfect bread. Si when I came to Rotterdam the other day and that along my way I came across those two magical words painted on a beautiful wooden door “Boulangerie traditionnelle” (traditional bakery), I could not believe it. My hands were sweating, my pulse was high and my expectations also! The meringues on the shop window looked very promising but what would it be with the rest…?
The rest was good, very good, very very good. The first thing I saw when I came in was the madeleines and that was the moment I felt home there. Madeleines, beside being worldwide known thanks to Marcel Proust, are above all those little simple cakes that every (French)child has eaten during his childhood. It is soft and tender and has the taste of innocence (no kidding). Now that I am a mum, I regularly bake some when the boys have friends at home and trust me, it’s always a hit. Well, I guess the busy moms in Rotterdam just have to go to Jan Bussing to please their children. Lucky you!
Beside the madeleines, there are also a very large choice of types of bread (Dutch and French sort), croissants, various sort of cakes etc… It is a wonder for the eyes and a treat for the taste buds. I took a “Pain Rustique” (French way) and a Desem bread with pumpkin seeds (Dutch way). They were both absolutely delicious but I did prefer the Pain Rustique. The crust was crispy, the crumb was tender and I instantly thought of my grand-father, I thought of him smiling in his bakery and how it felt good as a child to be there with him.
So thank you to the people at Jan Bussing, you are doing a wonderful job.
May you all have a wonderful day.
ps: Did I mention that all ingredients are 100% natural?