I’m not really sure what this says about the state of French cuisine, but Paris has its first automatic bread distributor, which spits out freshly baked baguettes for a euro. I was quite sceptical at first, imagining that the bread would be a mass-produced, frozen, tasteless loaf that unfortunately you find too often in Paris. To my surprise, these were “baguettes de tradition”, bread which is decreed by a 1993 French law to be mixed, kneaded, leavened and baked on premises, without ever being frozen. They must also be additive-free and can contain only four precious ingredients–wheat flour, water, salt and yeast.
The baker proudly explained that he keeps his freshly made baguettes in a cold room which can keep up to 250 baguettes for 72 hours and then can program the machine (the Panicho Automate) to automatically bake a certain amount each hour where they are kept warm while waiting to be purchased. Drop in your euro and out pops a warm crusty baguette in its familar paper sack.
A taste test revealed that while this baguette can’t compete with Kaiser, Gosselin or Saibron, it was certainly better than the frozen junk that some boulangeries pass off as baguettes.
Avenue Mathurin Moreau