Crisis in France: True Croissants Disappearing

50% of the time they've been replaced by a factory-made version
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2012 8:36 AM CDT
Crisis in France: True Croissants Disappearing
Chocolate croissants, mmmmm.   (Getty Images)

Sacré bleu! French foodies are in an uproar over new claims that half the croissants sold in the country's traditional bakeries nowadays are "industrial," meaning frozen or pre-prepared and then heated up rather than baked on site. And it's leading purists to proclaim that the true French croissant is "dying out." The number of industrially made croissants sold in the country's boulangeries has increased over the past decade, and the Telegraph explains the little loophole that's allowed this to fly somewhat under the radar: Boulangers can only call themselves such if they actually make their own bread; but no such rule applies for the viennoiseries (aka croissants and other pastries) they sell.

That means these supposedly "homemade" bakeries can sell croissants made by large companies, to the dismay of many baking purists. (One calls the industrial croissants "rubbery" and "full of air.") Not all bakers are going the industrial route: One has gone out of his way to put a sign in his window reading, "All our products are prepared on site. They have not been chosen from a catalog and delivered frozen by the industry." But some say they can't compete with the much-cheaper industrial option, and the national bakers' federation is looking into the problem. (Read more France stories.)

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