The Suitcase Lady

Baguettes

October 1, 2013, 9:01 pm

What could be better than a crusty chunk of French bread with a generous slathering of butter?

The French have been bread artisans and connoisseurs for centuries. So it was with shock that I read a recent newspaper headline, “A French Dining Staple is Losing Its Place at the Table”. France without bread lovers would be like Italy shunning pasta….unthinkable.

The average Frenchman is eating a mere half baguette a day now as compared to a whole one in 1970. Young people eat almost 30 percent less bread than a decade ago. The Observatoire du Pain, the French bread marketing lobby, is not taking this reduced bread consumption lightly. A campaign promoting bread has been launched.

“Coucou, tu as pris le pain?” (Hi there, have you picked up the bread?) is the slogan of the campaign, and the phrase has been plastered on billboards and bread bags across the country.

The marketing message rises to the seriousness of the situation, “Bread promotes good health, good conversation and French civilization.”

And, since this is all happening in France, love enters the discussion. “Remember that buying fresh bread on the way home is a simple way of showing loved ones that you have thought about them and of giving them pleasure during the day.”

French bread in France is not in danger of extinction. Ten billion baguettes are sold every year and a national bread festival is celebrated in May around the feast of Saint Honore, the patron saint of bakers. In addition, Paris holds an annual contest to find the best traditional baguette. The winner’s breads are served at the Elysee Palace for a year.

I find only one flaw in this noble campaign to encourage the consumption of fine breads. I believe the French should go global with their message……the world is sorely in need of a large serving of civilization at the moment.

french bread


2 Comments for this entry

  • eve

    Mary–I saw a young boy & his father walking home with a baguette early one evening when I was in Paris. Paris without bread is like Wisconsin without cheese. Or cheeseheads. :) evie