Bakeries: Essential For France During Coronavirus

by Shelli

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!

Bakeries are essential in France

Courtesy Pixabay

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!

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4 comments
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4 comments

Christian April 18, 2020 - 4:24 pm

It does my heart good to see some normality in the world.

Reply
Shelli April 18, 2020 - 4:52 pm

I agree, Christian! Thanks for reading.

Reply
747always April 23, 2020 - 1:35 am

Bakeries are considered essential in India as well. In the cities, especially Bombay, there are still vendors who go to each building with bakery biscuits, bread, eggs, farsan, etc and sell from door to door.
In my building in Bombay, our life is made a lot easier as we have demarcated an area for the vendor to stand, and pplaced social distancing markers. This allows everyone to get their essential supplies at a low cost, while ensuring everyones health and safety is taken care of.
Yes, the vendor has to wear gloves and a mask, and has to sanitise the bags holding his items before starting sale.

Reply
Shelli April 23, 2020 - 1:50 am

Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with all of us! It’s fascinating to learn about the cultural and economic differences among various countries as we continue through such challenging times. Enjoy those biscuits and farsan!

Reply

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