, , ,

It seems crazy indeed, but it is actually very easy to have trouble finding a good baguette in France. All you have to do is come in August in a non-touristic area, and you will notice that all the bakeries (and for that matter all independent stores and restaurants) have a sign saying that they are on holiday.

And holiday here really means leaving for at least 3 weeks it seems.

My baguette is gone on holiday.

My baguette is gone on holiday.

So in the meantime you have to walk much further away to get a baguette, but walking more than 15 minutes to get a proper baguette in France seems criminal to me. Alternatively you can starve, or be French and go on holiday yourself to a place where bakeries are open. I went through a mixture of all three solutions.

My local bakery opens again this week and I am very excited indeed. Finally my cheese will see its best friend again. Toast and biscotte are ok, but nothing beats a crispy baguette.

It seems only fair though that baguettes are not available due to nice labor laws allowing for long holidays, when you consider that according to legend labor laws made the creation of baguettes possible.

In 1920, a labor law forbade bakers to start working before 4am. Great for the bakery employees, but terrible for bread, as bakers now didn’t have time enough left to bake the classic round loaves in time for breakfast. So clever bakers started to bake baguettes, which take much less time to raise and bake.

Labor laws helped create a French cultural icon, and then took it away from me last month. Now that’s ironic.