No pain from pain

Bread festival poster from the city's website
Bread festival poster from the city’s website

If you read the blog yesterday you’ll know that we got sidetracked on our way to visit a bunch of boulangeries just outside of town. While the ink was still drying, so to speak, on that article, we spent a good part of the day at the park in front of Carcassonne’s train station totally surrounded by boulangers (bakers) and all of their work. It was time for the annual Fête du Pain that we might otherwise call the Bread Festival.

From the accompanying poster you can see that the event started at 7 AM which was probably fine, or maybe even a late start, if you work in a bakery but a bit too early for us. We also skipped the 9:30 AM Zumba class and arrived just

Fresh loaves just out of the oven
Fresh loaves just out of the oven

before noon as the opening speeches were concluding. Our first purchase was a baguette, still warm from the wood-fired oven that had been brought in just for this event. As the loaves came out of the oven, the bakers carefully inspected each one to decide which would be sold to the waiting public and which would be set aside for consideration to be included in the judging later that day. We continued on around to several more booths where the bases were covered as far as traditional French fare is concerned: more bread, cheese, escargot, sausages, crepes, other regional products like sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, honey, and ice cream.

Wood fired oven
Wood fired oven

Of course with all of that food there had to be something to drink so our final stop was at a wine tasting booth where they were featuring a sparkling Catharium brut blanquette de Limoux from vineyard VSA, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Carcassonne. It hit the spot and at only 5 euro per bottle, we have a few now chilling in our fridge.

We didn’t stay long enough to see other activities like the Brazilian martial arts Capoeira demonstration, the pompom girls, or the procession and blessing of the bread. We also left before they had awarded the prize for best baguette but I’d say that every taste we sampled was a winner.

3 thoughts on “No pain from pain

  1. There are capoeira dancers at the market on Saturdays pretty often now. My kid even had capoeira classes in primary school.
    We used to go to the next village for pain de compagne–a big, deformed loaf, that would be handed over using gloves because it would still be hot from the wood-fired oven. It was heaven! Sometimes we would eat the entire loaf in one sitting, the butter (totally unnecessary but delicious) melting into the still-steaming bread. OMG. Unfortunately, the boulanger moved to Lezignan and the replacement wasn’t nearly as good.
    So now we go to Noez.

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