Visitors to Paris looking for the best example of a French baguette — that edible icon for France — may want to add the Grenier à Pain to their itinerary, as it won the title of best baguette maker for the second time.
In the 21st edition of the competition which crowns the best baguette in the city, baker Djibril Bodian, 38, helped cement the reputation of his bakery in the Montmartre neighborhood, a win that bestows celebrity status on the shop and will lengthen already long queues outside the shop doors.
It’s an impressive feat to win the title a second time in five years: Winning baguettes are chosen in a blind taste test among hundreds of contenders.
This year, Bodian’s entry beat 230 other loaves of bread.
Thursday afternoon, a panel of 15 judges made up of award-winning pastry chefs and bakers and past competition winners weighed, sniffed, inspected and tore into hundreds of batons, evaluating the baguettes based on five factors: taste, smell, appearance, doneness and bread texture.
Baguettes must also comply with a set of strict rules, measuring between 55 to 65 cm, and weighing 250 to 300 g.
When Bodian won the first time in 2010, local media became enamored with the story of a second-generation baker of Senegalese descent taking the title.
In addition to winning notoriety and €4,000, Bodian will, for the second time, become the official baguette supplier to the Elysée and the French president for one year.
Headed to Paris and want to sample the best baguettes in the city? Here are the top 10 in Paris’s annual baguette competition:
1. Grenier à Pain, 38 rue des Abbesses (18th arrondissement)
2. Boulangerie Pâtisserie Sainte-Anne, 193 rue de Tolbiac (13th)
3. Huré, 150 avenue Victor Hugo (16th)
4. L’Académie du Pain, 30 rue d’Alésia (14th)
5. Le Puits d’Amour, 249 boulevard Voltaire (11th)
6. Le Moulin du 16è, 152 Avenue de Versailles (16th)
7. Deedam Holding, 63 rue de Turbigo (3rd)
8. Aux Pains Garnis, 25 avenue de St Ouen (17th)
8. Les Gourmandises d’Eiffel, 187 Rue de Grenelle (7th)
9. Douceurs et Traditions, 85 Rue Saint-Dominique (7th)
10. Maison Delcourt, 100 rue Boileau (16th)