There is a baguette bakery at the end of my building. I used to go there every morning, but I stopped after I got my shock.
It is an old bakery, a dump inside and out. It doesn’t even look like a bread bakery at all. Looks like another street side storage shed really.
However, this bakery still used wood fire for it’s oven, and that fire gave the bread a unique style, consistency, and taste.
However, it soon became what we call “hollow bread” A nice outside crust, with the baguette being the actual size it should be, but with nothing inside. The bread was hollow, just a airy fluff. But this is not what sealed the deal for me to not buy bread there anymore.
I went to get bread very early one morning but no one was around. So I pulled the curtain back and looked inside calling for someone. The inside was just bare unpainted cement walls, blackened from years of wood fire smoke and soot. It looks like a dark, dingy, dungeon. I was taken back at how awful it was inside there, and this is saying something, after twenty one years around Africa.
Despite my calling I could see no one, and no bread on the rusty old racks. So I went around the next corner calling, and there was still no one. But there on the floor stood a huge cement mixing bowl about 4.5 feet deep and 6 feet across. The Huge vat bowl would be turned, as the mixer arm was fixed to the wall. The bread vat setup was as old and ancient looking as the walls. I went over to take a quick peek at it as I had never seen the likes before.
However, as I got near the huge mixing bowl, there was a rat sitting in the bottom eating left over dough. It as clear to me they never clean it. I startled him so bad that he instantly ran up the side, jumped out, and disappeared. Scared the crap out of me. I turned to leave, and now I could see that there a young man was curled up fast asleep in his dirty cloths that looked liked he rolled on the street, right there on the bottom shelf of one of the rusty bread racks,
I went home and told my wife, it’s time to change bakeries.