Bastille & Baguettes

It was 22 years ago,
The bread decree did state…

that in order to be considered a true baguette, the bread

*must only contain these 4 ingredients: wheat flour, salt, water and yeast
*must be sold in the bakery where they are made
*must never be frozen

This décret pain law was rolled out on September 13th 1993 with the aim of protecting the quality of one of France’s most famous breads: the baguette. Further to this, a baguette is characteristically long and thin with straight line slashes down its middle. It should also ascribe to a certain length (about 55cm) and weight (about 300g).

The best baguette in Paris
BBC – Travel

Bread in France is serious business. It is a cultural institution that perhaps has helped to shape the France we know today.

fraternité, liberté, egalité

The politics of bread played a significant roll role in the French Revolution. Crop failure and food scarcity led to an increase in the price of bread. This apparently led to the infamous statement “let them eat cake” (actually brioche) which many historians believe was never uttered by the Kim Kardashian of her time, Marie Antoinette. The peasants revolted, in part, because of bread prices. Even in the 1700s, food security was a huge issue.
Regardless of who said it, or if it was even said, the sentiment speaks to the social issues during that time: the inequality of the classes, economics and privilege.

Causes of the French Revolution
Site: Bonjour La France

There are number of other food stuffs that are protected by law. To carry the champagne label, champagne wine can only be made in the Champagne region in France; otherwise it is just sparkling wine. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese must contain rennet so any vegetarian ‘parmesan’ cheeses are just imitation. Rennet is the stomach lining from ruminants. It is needed for the coagulation (‘solidification’) of milk in the cheese making process.

It is becoming more common to see variations of the baguette: mini ones, whole wheat ones, baguette ‘crackers’, froze and  store-bought, homemade, etc. but just know these items are breaking the decree. The revolution in bread continues. Vive la revolution!

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