October 1, 2003
Last weekend, while I was in the 1st arrondissement to buy kitchenware, I suddenly remembered my grandmother telling me about a professional baking supplies store she used to go to when she was still baking for four sons.
The store is called "G. Detou", which happens to be a pun, and I can't decide whether it is completely lame, deliciously old-fashioned, or just cute: "G. Detou" sounds like "J'ai de tout", meaning "I have everything". So you tell me: is it a coincidence and the store's founder's first name was really Gilles or Gérard? Or is it a pun? And if so, corny or charming?
Anyhow. Unable to remember where the shop was, I gave Maxence a call so he would yellow-page it for me, and I was amazed when I finally located it, right in the middle of rue Tiquetonne, which I'd walked up and down countless times without ever noticing this jewel was there. I really don't have an explanation other than that there is magic at work here -- you know, this little nook of a place that thou shalt see only if thy heart is pure and thy desire to buy baking supplies in bulk is earnest.
And mine were, I think, so I walked in to discover this old-fashioned store, presided upon by a moustachioed attendant in a blue coat, who was -- and I'm not making this up -- drinking champagne with two giggling salesladies. They were no doubt celebrating some kind of special bulk flour holiday (mark your calendars, apparently it takes place every year on September 20).
Or maybe that's just what magic store attendants do, drink themselves giddy on bubbles while customers browse around. And there is indeed plenty to gape at: giant boxes of candied violets, brick-sized blocks of bittersweet chocolate, buckets of caramel syrup, humongous bags of slivered almonds... A baker's dream come true.
After debating with myself awhile, I decided I couldn't buy it all just yet (I had to ride the bus home, you see) and, marveling at my self restraint, I set my heart on an industrial-sized can of nonstick baking spray (labeled "for professional use only", go figure) and a large bag of the coarse sugar I'd been looking for all over so I could bake me some chouquettes.
58 rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris (see map)
01 42 36 54 67
Custom Labels for Homemade Goodies
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