Tag Archives: baguette

Selling Ice Cream to Eskimos


Can I sell this to the French?

Can I sell this to the French?

When I was living on the Isle of Mull I decided to make my own sourdough culture to use instead of yeast to make my bread. Living on an island it makes sense to make bread as the local store only sold the usual mass-produced stuff labelled as bread but I am doubtful whether it deserves such a title.

Anyway, so that was in 2010. Five years on and my sourdough is alive and kicking. Disaster almost struck though. It nearly died on route from Cornwall to Carcassonne last April when my van decided that it had had enough.and broke down on me.  Stranded in the back of the van in some one horse town in the middle of France in 25 degree heat for a week was not conducive to a happy sourdough. Actually i felt exactly the same as I now recall.

My attempts to revive her when I finally arrived at my new abode just south of Carcassonne on a back of a recovery truck were looking hopeless. I was using French bread flour but it just wasnt hitting the spot.  Barely alive I sent an SOS to Paul to bring some rye and strong white flour with him as luckily he was due to fly over any day.

So a last ditch attempt with a bit of rye and white, I left her sitting in the kitchen overnight. What a sight in the morning, my sourdough had sprung to life again,. So much so that she had bubbled up over the top of the jar and was dripping a trail on to the floor.  This was truly a spectacular show.

So it got me thinking. Here I was setting up home in France, re-known world wide for its bread; the land of the baguette.so how come their flour is so poor and twice the price of the flour I buy in the UK or Spain for that matter?  I had come to this conclusion because even when using yeast, my bread here was just not tasting the same, it was ‘dull’ and had a sort of yellowish colour. Perhaps the best flour is preserved for the Boulangeries. I haven’t solved this mystery but I have fixed a plan.

Now don’t get me wrong,  I actually love french bread but I do miss my granary, my loaves with pumpkin, sunflower or caraway seeds.  I am convinced that there is a market for my kind of bread so I have decided that I am going make and sell it in the local markets and fairs.  I can order organic flour from the UK in bulk. My sourdough is ready  at the start line just waiting to run. All I need to do is track down is a commercial size but portable gas oven and I can set up a little stall selling sourdough loaves and yummyFocaccia to the French straight from the oven.

Hmmm…. Will it be like trying to sell ice cream to Eskimos I wonder?  I don’t know yet but it will be fun trying, that’s if I don’t get chased all the way to Calais by a band of baguettes wielding Boulangeres.

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