Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Paris Baguette

Paris Baguette is everywhere in Korea! I really don't know how so many of them can possibly stay open because, for one thing, Korean people do not generally eat a lot of bread, sweets, and deserts, and for another thing, there are just so many.

Korean people do, however, purchase a lot of cakes from Paris Baguette on special occasions like birthdays, weddings, and things of that nature. I remember at one of my birthday parties, I ended up with something like 3 or 4 cakes from Paris Baguette, (and they're not what I would consider cheap either... it's a very nice gift, if you want to think about it in those terms).

It's interesting to note that most of the nicer apartments will have ovens in them, but good luck finding a cake mix at the store. They simply don't use their ovens, for anything other than a convenient place to store pots and pans. Most Korean food is boiled or fried, so there's really no need to have an oven anyway. So when the necessity for a cake arises, they all run to Paris Baguette. Luckily there's one on every corner, so you're never too far away.

I remember, the day after we arrived in Korea, Paris Baguette was the only semi-recognizable food outlet around. So we walked in that morning and bought some sweet bread, some peanut butter, and some jelly to sustain us until we could find somewhere to buy food. It wasn't much, but it kept us from starving to death. For that reason alone, there will always be a special place in my heart Paris Baguette.

Some Paris Baguettes actually have a cafe section, where you can sit down and order a sandwich or soup. Others stick to only the basics: cakes and bread. Either way, if it's your birthday in Korea, and you have any friends at all, you can expect to receive at least one cake from this somewhat-out-of-place Korean bakery.

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