The Poilâne Loaf

It’s Valentines Day, and I’m alone yet again. I figure there’s two ways I can spend the evening.

1. In front of the PC, guiltily downloading free video snippets from, fitfully yanking myself to climax as, sobbing hopelessly, I ponder the joyless futilty of my lonely existence, my squalid bedroom thick with the scent of cat waste, even though I have no cats.

2. By reviewing some more overpriced food.

It’s lucky for you, dear reader, that I eventually choose the latter option, as I’ve elected to document my selection through the medium of photography.

I decide to pass judgement on the Poilâne Loaf, yours for just €30.50 (inc. p&p to the UK) from the company’s website or £7.60 from the Poilâne bakery in London’s exclusive Belgravia neighbourhood. Made from simple ingredients in brick ovens weighing over 100 tons, this sourbread recipe was developed in the 1980s by Lionel Poilâne after studying submissions from more than 10,000 bakers he’d contacted over the previous years. As you can see from the picture below, where I’ve a used a copy of The Swell Maps’ CD collection “Collision Time Revisited” to give an idea of scale, the resultant loaf is about as big as a cow’s head.

The side view (shown below) is perhaps even more spectacular, a thick dusting of flour giving the loaf an almost alpine appearence, as if Poilâne had based his fabled concoction on the clambering winter slopes of the mighty Alpe Duez.

With a thick golden-brown crust and a slightly smokey flavour, the bread can be eaten in many different ways, although most commonly this task is undertaken using the mouth. I decide to rustle up a sandwich au jambon or, as we say in English, a ‘ham sandwich’. Et voila, bon appetit.

After a couple of these fellas I feel pretty sick, but still manage to wash the remains down with a nice big glass of Baileys. I imagine the resultant mix of half-digested dough and creamy liquor will expand in my stomach, leading to the kind of disastrous results that occur when you feed a hedgehog bread and milk. Assuming I survive the night, I’ll be reviewing scrambled eggs on toasted Pain Poilâne in the morning. Happy Valentines Day.


  1. Ooo, that looks good. Even better than sex on Valentine’s Day. Yep.

  2. Mmmmm… overpriced bread (drools)

    I’m tempted to make the world’s biggest Ham & Brie sandwich, but I can’t stop thinking about the poor hedgehogs.

  3. I see the type of symbol carried by tens of thousands of Moorish warriors as they bring their holy war to the Christians, or maybe it’s just where the bread cracked when it was baking.

  4. It’s actually a “P” for Poilâne. Swivel your monitor 90 degrees to the left to see this in action.

  5. But look at the little naked hedgehog! AWWWWWWWWWWW!

    That ham looks nice.

  6. No way is that a ‘P”. Not in France, not in London and not in Blogjam. You’ve been had big time.

  7. That is, indeed, ALL teh bread.

  8. Nortons Auntie Virus

    Are we therefore to assume that Fraser has passed on fromt he world as a result of this’alpine’ bread? Disastrous

  9. if you like bread, come to germany. you’ll love it.
    next food will bei something on the sweet side?

  10. Or perhaps some delicacy that doesn’t involve dead animals?

  11. Too right, oink oink!

  12. True and well spotted, as I was then a pescetarian. I have since progressed to vegetarian and currently considering the vegan option. Fraser – not that I want to get into a fight about anything, ever, but when are you going to stop being touchy and review some pulses instead?

  13. ooh i like the new moo! if i had smell-o-vision would it be bovril or cow pat whiff? still think you should have reviewed the video snippets and uploaded some audio of your hopeless sobbing as an accompaniment though.

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