- Chez Panisse opens (1971)
Half-Baked Baguettes all the Rage in France
Recipe of the day
Lovers of some ham and butter on a crusty baguette, get ready to feel appalled. The Wall Street Journal brings us the news that — gasp — Parisians are buying underbaked or half-baked baguettes, or "white" baguettes, chowing down on soft, doughy loaves instead.
The reasons are plentiful: "[A normal baguette] hurts your gums and palate." "If you don't eat it within the hour, it'll feel like it's a day old." "White baguettes" reheat better.
Of course, eating underbaked bread comes with all sorts of problems, but as a reporter who was always tempted to eat dumpling wrappers as a kid, it makes sense. Hardcore bakers, in the meantime, are upset that the traditionally super-crusty bread is getting downgraded. "The customer doesn't know what's best... it's the baker's job to educate him," Franck Debieu, one such baker, told WSJ.
Baguettes have gotten such a reputation in France that the law says only wheat flour, water, salt, and yeast can be used to make baguettes, and the term boulangerie (bakery) can only be used where the bread is made and baked in-house. We imagine next, underbaked baguettes won't even get the disctinction of being known as baguettes anymore.
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