Bread or Alive

French People Turn a Cold Shoulder to Old-School Baguettes

Baguette, heel thyself.
Baguette, heel thyself. Photo: Shutterstock

Gluten-free diets, hamburgers, frozen meals, and Kim Kardashian — probably, somehow, we’re guessing — are all killing off France’s great tradition of baguettes. As in, the average Frenchman ate three loaves of bread each day 100 years ago, and now that number has dwindled to a sixth of that. While that may seem somewhat healthier, consider that French people now eat alarming amounts of quinoa instead of bread, the Christian Science Monitor reports, and “tradition” bread, a.k.a. the O.G. baguette, even had to be fast-tracked to special protected status.

The once small-scale boulangerie playing field has been all-but-leveled by Big Baguette, which uses additives and industrial shortcut chemicals à la azodicarbonamide in their products, and while rebels are striking back by opening very small shops and plating hectares of heirloom wheat, it may all be too late by harvest time. “We need to have consumers who are willing to eat it,” says the president of a national bakers association.

French bakers battle over what makes a better baguette [Christian Science Monitor]
Related: Alain Ducasse Says French-Food Defenders Must Be ‘Very Vigilant’

French People Turn a Cold Shoulder to Old-School Baguettes