friend’s bread

 Pain des amis …september 2016

 for Christophe, for Erik.


…The crust refracted through the flavor of the crumb. It was light and crispy, yet the compression of flavor and caramelization was incredibly deep, thick, full-bodied. A Malliard Eucharist which would not melt. Chestnut, earthy, dusty straw, creamy, tender, yielding: the texture like leather run wet with wheat water, then veiled in fermented dough to dry. In June, with a moist sun. Blonde memories of rust.

Pain des Amis is honest, nurturing; life of food wombed within the soul of a crust. Profound in its simplicity, the sum of process curated by parts. Most incredible aroma, perfume of the Beauce’s blood, France’s oxygen. That smell—its moisture, its curtain, a cathedral of fragrance without remorse or arrogance.

Its meaning as useless as the chatter of Paris, two thousand years of rain in Lutetia, where the characters come and go, recycled like corks in so many of the same bottles, same stage, same lips to different crystal. Different juice, different lips, but always the vintage desire of Paris—the hubris of such beauty, the essence of this kernel. We bake bread, just as we build monuments, to forget what we already know…but when I ate your bread, I remembered something. Like my memories, like Paris, there is no innocence in this bread.

In Paris we sit still like rocks in a stream. One thousand years of a fluid center before freezing—all passes and merely, one day, we eddy to let go. This is serenity, peace, liberty. Divorce yourself until communion is here. France’s tragedy of destiny, obscured by commerce and culture and church in the prisons of time and fashion. Chimneys of rhetoric choking Paris. France mutilates history and her only memory is that of forgetting, forgetting the burden of too much wisdom, the burden of understanding, the burden of beauty unmeasured.