French Bread is more than just the baguette. That long, skinny loaf bouncin’ on the back of ancient bikes, ridden by equally ancient froggies down poplar lined country roads. (You remember that tourist poster, dontcha?)
While there are not as many varieties of French bread as there are French Cheese – you’ll have no trouble finding enough different “taste experiences” to keep yer palette from breakfast boredom for many a month. And, we have the French Government to thank.
Big Brother is Helping You?
Yes, dear reader. Truth is stranger than fiction. Every so often, Governments shock us senseless by actually doing something that benefits those that elected ’em. What the French Government did was repeal, recind, abolish and deep six a law that fixed the price of bread. Before that date(which I don’t know, and would’nt mean diddly to you anyway) – the baguette was one price. Say – 85 centimes. So – no free enterprise. No Competition. No incentive for Mr. Baker to throw in any extra culinary bells ‘n whistles.
But, with “deregulation” – a whole new bread game – Bakers without borders! – What a concept!
And so, Baker no. 1, chooglin’ to establish “pre-eminence”, turns out a baguette coated with sesame seeds and charges 95 centimes. When Baker 2 gets a whiff o’ this – not to be caught with his flour down – he unveils a baguette with sesame seeds AND raisins. For 1(at that time) Franc. Baker no. 3 – racing to the head ‘o the pack, gets his clients salivating with “baguette extraordinaire.” Sesame seeds, raisins and nuts. For 1.25!
The Game Changer
Enter Baker no. 4. The innovator. A serial entrepreneur. He realizes that the times they be a-changin’. And to stay ahead of the competition – He needs to severely push the envelope. Break with tradition. Go electric while the others stay acoustic! So – What does he do?
In an inspirational stroke of “breadupmanship” – he rolls out a loaf that is not long. Not skinny. Not thin. A loaf that is – mon dieu – SQUARE! But wait – There’s more! This guy is the Bill Gates of bread. He “bundles” his bread with raisins, nuts, figs, 6 cereal grains, and – wait for it –coats it with poppy seeds!
Priced at 1.50, he can’t keep it on the shelves. And so it glows. A win-win-win situation. Baker wins. Consumer wins. And, bien sur, Government wins. By raising the price of flour whenever they get the itch. And you thought they were just bein’ nice? (Quelle naiveté!)
The moral of this “bread-stery”, dear reader, is that when you visit France expect variety! Not just in the bread, but in everything. The food. The Wine. The landscape. And most(and best of all) the people.
Ready for breakfast?(Lunch?, Dinner?)
THROW ME A BONE HERE PEOPLE!
What are ya thinkin’?