Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Fate of French Baguettes

Anyone who has traveled in France knows how ubiquitous baguettes are—tucked under arms, propped in bicycle baskets, and sold in just about every shop whether a bakery or not.  But what many may not realize is that all baguettes are not the same. Most of the baguettes sold now have evolved as a form of fast-food, with additives and a quick preparation process. Fortunately there are those that cherish the old-style, slow-fermentation technique that gives an authentic baguette its texture and taste.

According to the New York Times, " 1993, the government came to the rescue with a decree that created a special designation: “the bread of French tradition.” That bread has to be made exclusively with flour, salt, water and leavening — no additives. The “tradition,” as it is called, is more expensive than the ordinary baguette, which uses additives, a fast-rising process and mechanization, and accounts for about 75 percent of the country’s bread sales."

Anyone who has eaten traditional baguettes knows that the extra money is ever so worth it. According to French-bread expert, Steve Kaplan, you "need to celebrate breads that make your taste buds dance."  

Travelers to Paris who want to taste "tradition" breads can explore Good-Bread Trails in Paris
Bon appétit!!