Upon My Word!

What do Paris and Invercargill (NZ) have in common? Very little so imagine my surprise when Damien published  a photo-post from Paris  and there was something I could relate to – a patisserie with an eerily familiar name. Familiar that is, to the name of a pie shop in Invercargill!

Now dear reader, excuse my ‘french’ but the common element here is the word bastard. I couldn’t imagine how a patisserie in Paris came to use this term in their name and asked Damien if the owners are French. They are. To me this seemed misplaced – such usage would typically be Australasian.

Here’s Damien’s photo of the patisserie (cropped by me). Fyi he blogs at:
Deuxiemepeau Poetry by Damien B. Donnelly

Click on the photo to see the un-cropped version.

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The French Bastards. Photo by Damien B. Donnelly

Note: the word bastard is used in a very casual way in NZ and one doesn’t think much of it. Someone might say of a mate that the person is a good bastard. I would assume the person referred to might be a bit of a ‘character’ but that they’re okay. On the other hand if I heard that someone is a mean bastard that’d infer that they’re not nice to know.

Mike Powell  joined the discussion, offering the answer to the mystery and making me laugh out loud. The humour may be lost on those who aren’t kiwi or aussie.

Mike’s response:  Here’s a link to an article that I found about the French Bastards (https://www.davidlebovitz.com/the-french-bastards-paris-bakery-pastry-patisserie-boulangerie/) . According to the author, here is the reason for the bakery’s name – “Their unconventional name comes from when one of them, Julien, worked in a restaurant in Australia. He was so talented and worked so well that the chef (affectionately) referred to him as “the French bastard.” So he and his friends decided to use it to name their bakery in Paris.”

The above link is a great read with beautiful pictures of the food, and ‘The French Bastards’ turn out to be three long-time friends named Julien, Emmanuel and David.


Let’s now take a look at Invercargill’s   FAT BASTARD PIES

— remember NZers have a very irreverent sense of humour

If you follow the website link you’ll see the Mayor of Invercargill with his trademark grin about to eat a Fat Bastard pie. The writing alongside him quips: oh hello. Welcome. You fat bastard.

I laughed myself silly the first time I saw it 🙂

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When I visited on Saturday they were closed as “us fat bastards need our rest”  🙂

Very cool website.. here’s the link again:   FAT BASTARD PIES


And on the opposite corner from Fat Bastard Pies?

My favourite church building in Invercargill.

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It’s time to head home but before we pull out from the kerb, look at all these New Zealand cabbage trees in the median strip.. I love them!

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New Zealand cabbage trees or Cordyline australis


Text by Liz, photos by Liz unless otherwise attributed. Exploring Colour (2019)

17 thoughts on “Upon My Word!

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  1. As soon as I saw from the first picture that the shop in Paris is a bakery, I thought of the bread that the French call bâtard. The ˆ indicates that the letter a in the word used to be followed by an s that French speakers ultimately stopped pronouncing. Then I saw in this passage in the post Mike linked to:

    “The wor[d] bâtard (bastard) typically refers to a type of bread that’s without a distinct form, like someone without the structure of a family. Romain told me the less-gauzy meaning of the word (because he’s not writing for the general public, like I am) which refers to the child of someone aristocratic who has an affair with the domestique (the housekeeper). So it could refer to a bread that’s a cross between a (refined) baguette, and more rustic country loaf. But bâtards come in many shapes, and fortunately, the only ones in this bakery are the ones in the bread baskets.”

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  2. So this persuaded me to try Googling to see if I could find any UK instances but so far just found a French wine – Thierry and Guy Fat Bastard Merlot. (That would appeal to my husbands sense of humour very much…) And now I’ve just found a plant (surprise, surprise 🙂 ) called ‘Bastard Balm’ in the UK. Thanks for a good laugh!

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    1. “Arrogant Bastard is a fiercely protected beer. Its recipe is kept under lock and key in a safe by Stone, and Krekelberg had to sign a nondisclosure agreement to put it into his system.” Thanks for the link, it’s a great read!

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  3. Thanks, Liz, for providing the Southern hemisphere (or at least the New Zealand) insight on the use of the word “bastard.” When you first mentioned the name of the pie shop in Invercargill, I thought it was a reference to the character in the Austin Powers movies who was called “Fat Bastard.” I had no idea the term “bastard” was used so widely in general conversation there in New Zealand–it is definitely not used that way in my part of the US, at least. I am planning a three week long stay in Paris in November and am definitely going to have check out The French Bastards. Perhaps some time in the more distant future I will be be able to visit Fat Bastard Pies. 🙂

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    1. I’ll have to check out this “Fat Bastard” character you mention. I didn’t find any explanation for the choice of name at their website. Seems so exciting to me that you’re going to Paris (such a long way from the south of NZ). I hope you’ll take photos and do some taste research at The French Bastards, what fun.. will eagerly await your report! Sure do hope you’ll make it down to southern NZ some time 🙂

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    1. Both northern and southern ‘bastards’ appear to do lovely food. I can vouch for the southern ones.. the pie I had, some time ago before they moved to these premises, was memorable for being very meaty and very tasty!

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      1. Well this Sunday, after a delicious lunch in the former marshlands of Le Marais, even though I was perfectly full of food, I grew very distracted on the walk home along rue des rosiers which runs through the Jewish quarter and could not help myself buying Apple strudels and pistachio cigar rolls and then, eventually, as I neared my place, The French Bastards we’re open (that’s unheard of on a Sunday when almost everything his shut) and so I had to try their baguette which was rocking, especially once filled with chili cheese! I was a happy bastard that evening! 🤭😋🙏

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