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where to get butter & jam for a baguette?

I've heard that a typical french breakfast might be a baguette spread with butter and perhaps jam. They have butter and jam at a hotel breakfast but these breakfasts are often pricy additions to the room rate. If you're just buying a baguette at a boulangerie while you're out and about in the morning, what do people typically do?

Posted by
693 posts

I'd buy a croissant or some other pastry instead or else go to a grocery store and buy butter and jam there - or some cheese.

Posted by
8491 posts

Normally butter and jam are for sit-down breakfasts but here are a few more ideas in addition to the croissant or other pastry. One thing French people do is serve their kids squares of milk chocolate inside a piece of baguette as a snack, or we used to squeeze Nestle sweetened condensed milk onto baguettes because it comes in a tube in France. You can also now buy creme de marrons (sweetened chestnut jam) in tubes, and that would be good on a fresh, warm-from the oven baguette. In fact, most people put the jam directly on the bread, unlike in the States where most people use butter and jam. Finally, you could get a quiche at the bakery for a change. Mmmmm.

Posted by
28076 posts

We have found that some boulangeries have tables and chairs and offer butter and jam with coffee and a baguette as a set formula.

Posted by
1068 posts

People who live in Paris take the baguette home, and put butter and/or jam and/or cheese and/or chestnut spread - or whatever - on it. If you're planning to grab a baguette and do a picnic thing, you can get your bread one place and then duck into a supermarket to get jam and/or butter pretty cheaply. Then of course you need to figure out how to carry the leftovers. Stick 'em in your day pack? Do you need a Tupperware sort of container for the butter, so it doesn't get runny? Rather than hassle with that, I would grab a couple of croissants or pains au chocolat, which don't require "extras" like jam. Or I'd pop into a cafe, belly up to the bar, and order to eat in.

Posted by
1821 posts

Where do you get butter and jam at home? I would concentrate on more important things for your trip, this one is pretty minor.

Posted by
28076 posts

Sweet comment Richard. Too bad you need to worry about knocking others' eating. I hope your day improves so that a more positive sound may come from between your lips...

Posted by
1821 posts

Nigel,
Instead of commenting on my comment why don't you address the issue? Do you fail to see the irony of your comment not adding anything of value while insulting me? My comment pointed out that Europe has stores just like we do at home and that people worry about silly stuff. Now go look in a mirror.

Posted by
8168 posts

Gee Richard, how handy would it be to have a big jar of jam and stick of butter from the grocery store to carry around with you in Paris while you eat a baguette? Your answer did little to help the OP either, it was just a snotty comment, and you made it worse by getting snarky with Nigel who called you on it. I am sure the OP would like to know if these small portions of butter or jam are available in the bakery where he wants to buy his bread. If someone has never been there, this is a valid question. Why belittle someone for it? Kind answers are always better.

Posted by
28076 posts

Instead of commenting on my comment why don't you address the issue Did you miss my answer 2 above your original one where I did address the issue?

Posted by
693 posts

Well, I'm with John - breakfast is important to me, too! Now, if I could just get a bottomless cup of coffee, as well - any suggestions for that?

Posted by
1780 posts

That "jam in a tube" sounds interesting - do you think it needs to be refrigerated? I love shopping for cookies, candy, jam, etc. in the Monoprix - these are some of my favorite souvenirs!

Posted by
2297 posts

Now, if I could just get a bottomless cup of coffee, as well - any suggestions for that? That is a very difficult thing to find in most of continental Europe. Many Europeans prefer quality over quantity and are prepared to pay for each and every single cup - as long as it's a good cup of coffee. I can't remember the last time I had a refill of coffee in a place that offered them for free. I've had absolutely no desire to drink more of that stuff. And I'm talking Northamerica here. Places that offer great coffee in Northamerica more often than not do not offer free refills.

Posted by
2297 posts

If you're just buying a baguette at a boulangerie while you're out and about in the morning, what do people typically do? I stayed in Paris for 6 weeks one summer to study French. On a VERY small budget. I always bought my baguette at a boulangerie in the morning and then took it back to my hotel to eat it there. The jam and butter I bought in a small grocery store close by. The jam was in a larger jar and lasted me for several breakfasts. That is what most Parisians would do. btw baguette with a piece of chocolate is a typical afternoon snack, for example for kids when they get home from school. I've never seen that as breakfast in France. However, if you are a busy tourist and want to "eat on the run" a pastry that can easily be eaten without utensils might work better. Like a croissant or pain au chocolat as mentioned earlier.

Posted by
768 posts

Thanks to those with useful comments. At home I have a fridge and so no problem using up a lb of butter (or whatever the metric equivalent would be). I enjoy reading books both by native French people and by expats living in France that talk about the pleasures of o warm baguette and butter, so I was hoping to replicate the experience myself. but as a tourist sans fridge I've been wondering how it might be possible to do the same. I suppose worst come to worst I could just buy some butter, use what I need and toss the rest, but I was hoping there was a less wasteful solution .

Posted by
2297 posts

My one star hotel did not have any fridge and that wasn't a problem. Neither butter nor jam need to be refrigerated, in fact, butter is much easier to spread when you keep it outside the fridge. You can even keep cheese outside a fridge if you eat it within a couple of days. However, as much as I like eating smelly French cheese it's a different question to sleep right next to it ;-)

Posted by
8168 posts

I don't know how it is in Paris, but in Germany, when you go to a bakery that has a table or two, you can get your rolls with the little portions of butter and jam and sit down and eat them there while you drink your coffee. Perhaps all the frequent Paris visitors can tell us if this is common or possible there? To be honest, I find that plain white baquette bread to be really boring. Go for a nice croissant or some other lovely morning pastry.

Posted by
2297 posts

My one star hotel did not have any fridge and that wasn't a problem. Neither butter nor jam need to be refrigerated, in fact, butter is much easier to spread when you keep it outside the fridge. You can even keep cheese outside a fridge if you eat it within a couple of days. However, as much as I like eating smelly French cheese it's a different question to sleep right next to it ;-)

Posted by
8392 posts

A real French baguette from a good French bakery is absolute heaven to me. Add sweet butter and jam and you have perfection. But I also love pain au chocolat. I've spent a lot of time in Paris and rarely saw a classic boulangerie or patisserie that had tables. The chain "Paul" has tables but I don't like their breads or pastries. You could get a typical French breakfast (baguette, butter, jam, a croissant and coffee) at most cafes for a reasonable price (usually you can even order eggs with it if you want). I like that better than hotel breakfasts b/c it's less expensive and I'm "in" Paris, plus I like to people watch. I think Beatrix made a good point, you could buy butter and jam and keep it in your room w/o refrigerating it.

Posted by
893 posts

You can also look around at the cafes and see if anyone is eating a toasted baguette with butter and jam. A few of the places around me will offer that in the mornings. You order your coffee and a baguette avec une tartine de confiture et (or) ou buerre.