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The Wheat is On

12/01/2012 04:51PM ● Published by Gail Garcia

LeJeune's Bakery

The light is on. In Jeanerette, that can only mean one thing…fresh, hot French bread. Since 1884, LeJeune’s Bakery has produced the finest old fashioned bread from the recipes handed down to five generations of the LeJeune family. The bakery is one of the few places that you can walk into the past and buy your bread right from the baker. The enticing smell of the bread as it lies to cool on the bread racks in the morning makes it impossible to resist. You will find it hard to wait to get the bread home to unwrap it from its traditional paper wrapping. My favorite treat is spreading butter on the hot bread, but the bread itself is wonderful just the way it is. The smooth texture melts in your mouth with every bite.

 While LeJeune’s bread has remained the same through the years, the company has added other wonderful products including ginger cakes and garlic bread. You can even order hot dog buns. But it’s the bakery’s newest addition of wheat French bread that is attracting attention. The bakery began offering this new bread a year ago and it is every bit as delicious as LeJeune’s original French bread. It has a surprising velvety smooth texture and wonderful flavor that makes you forget you are eating wheat bread.

 When I arrived at the bakery, Matt LeJeune was taking fresh bread out of the oven while other workers were spread gingerbread dough to make their famous ginger cakes. LeJeune said that sales have been good and it’s easy to see why. Besides the amazing flavor of the bread, there is something about people from a small town that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s the warm smiles and friendly greetings that you just can’t buy or duplicate. That’s why visitors from all over the world stop by this little bakery and are drawn to the intoxicating smell of bread. Unlike the traditional French bread, the stone ground light wheat bread is wrapped in a plastic wrapper so you can see its goodness right away. As I picked up my loaf of bread in its brown paper bag, I could just imagine the taste of that very first bite. For those of us lucky enough to be born in Jeanerette, the bread transports us back to a time when we were children eating a slice of bread with a big glass of milk. Sometimes we would fight for the “nose” of the bread because these ends gave you the most crust when slicing.

 So here’s your challenge. Try Lejeune’s wheat bread and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to add it to your holiday table for the ultimate test. Hurry the bakery light is on…

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