Agnes Dherbeys for The NY Times
Jamal sent me this article last week, and my jaw dropped. Apparently, the French are increasingly shunning bread, from a combination of diets and busy schedules, and it’s become a problem for the Observatoire du Pain (yes. France has a bread makers’ coalition). According to the article, the “average Frenchman these days eats only half a baguette a day compared with almost a whole baguette in 1970 and more than three in 1900. Women, still the main shoppers in most families, eat about a third less than men, and young people almost 30 percent less than a decade ago.” Look, I’m doing my part; just last week I bought a baguette after work and shamelessly ripped into it on the walk home. But apparently I’m on the wrong continent.
So an ad campaign was launched in 130 cities around France with the slogan “Coucou, tu as pris le pain?” (“Hi there, have you picked up the bread?”), attempting to remind people to stop at their local boulangerie. “Buying fresh bread on the way home is a simple way of showing loved ones that you have thought about them and of giving them pleasure during the day.” As if I needed encouragement.