The world of bread is vast, and some form of bread is found in virtually every society. Bread is called the “staff of life” because it is a very basic food that supports life. That means for many, bread is essential. As the world grapples with the coronavirus, millions are confined to their homes and leaving only for both jobs and outings deemed essential. Would you consider a bread baker an essential job?
I know I do, and so do the French.
Why Are Bakeries Essential in France?
In France a bread baker’s, or boulanger’s, job is deemed essential. I can see why. If you’ve ever been to France you’ve seen people walking along the streets carrying their daily baguette. Not just some French people, either. Seems like everyone carts around a baguette!
The bread smells so fresh and looks so deliciously golden, I want to ask someone when they’ll be breaking bread. But I’m too timid, so I just go buy my own baguette!
To quote from Paris baker Tony Dore, “If the bakeries started closing, people would be unnerved. In France, we eat bread at every meal. It’s a tradition. We cannot go without good bread.” France has more than 30,000 independent bakeries and the French consume around 10 billion baguettes a year.
A loaf of grocery store bread is simply not comparable. One of Dore’s customers says, “It is like the difference between a Ferrari and an old jalopy”.
It’s so interesting how every culture has different survival mechanisms. Learning about these through observation when we travel, and partaking of them when we can, is one of the joys of traveling. Heck, I notice I eat way more bread when I’m in Europe, though not for survival. It’s more for the delicious factor!
Stories like this one, whether in France or other places around the world, show us what each culture during this strange pandemic time considers essential. Bakeries are essential in France, that’s for sure!
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.