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World Daily bread? In France, fighting virus 1 baguette at a time

14:04  26 march  2020
14:04  26 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

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In France , the fight against COVID-19 is being waged one baguette at a time . A vendor wearing a protective mask puts a baguette in a paper bag at a bakery in Paris, Monday, March 23, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.

On Tuesday, France 's labour ministry approved a special waiver allowing bakeries to be open seven "We've seen people come in who want to buy 50 baguettes at a time . There's something like a "The welfare state is first sketched out in France as a state that assures people its bread ," said Kaplan

LE VESINET, France (AP) — In France, the fight against COVID-19 is being waged one baguette at a time.

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A baguette (/bæˈɡɛt/; French: [baɡɛt]) is a long, thin loaf of French bread that is commonly made from basic lean dough (the dough, though not the shape, is defined by French law).

No longer just a mere staple, the iconic loaf and the French daily ritual of buying it have become loaded with moral, civic and public health considerations that could never have been imagined before the new coronavirus turned life upside down.

In a nation in lockdown, popping out for a fresh baguette is proving a handy excuse for people to get out of the house. There is one notable exception: a town on the Mediterranean coast where the mayor has banned people from doing just that, to keep them indoors.

But eschewing the crusty comfort of a fresh-baked baguette has become significant, too — a small sacrifice in this new era where sacrifices are being asked of many. For some, not buying bread daily and instead staying indoors to try to stay healthy has become an act in itself, a gesture of solidarity with the doctors and nurses fighting to save lives in stressed emergency wards

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Jeannot Culeron at his bakery in Marigny-le-Lozon, France . “When villages lose their bakery, they cry, ‘What a tragedy!’” he said. “But they have to be willing to walk the talk.”Credit Kasia Strek for The New York Times .

How to make French Baguettes at home simple step by step instructions from start to finish. There are many! many! more quicker bread recipes on my channel

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For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. 

Trying to steer a path between their love of bread and beating the virus, some in France are now buying baguettes by the armful and freezing them. That would have been a gastronomic no-no in normal times. But defrosting and reheating is now a pragmatic, civic-minded and health-conscious compromise, certainly better than no baguette at all.

The French have baked long loaves for centuries and coined “baguette” — or stick — around 120 years ago in Paris. Millions of French consume billions of baguettes each year, and not just as fuel. Diners use hunks of bread as tools for pushing food around their plates and onto their forks. The crust makes the bread easy to grip; its airy internal sponge soaks up sauces and the bloody juices of cooked meats. A baguette's saltiness accentuates flavors, while its doughy neutrality tames the tang of the most pungent cheeses.

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Baguettes from the bread counter of French supermarkets are often quite tasty, and generally need to be eaten as quickly as baker's bread . Boulangeries often stay open beyond the traditional midday closing hour, but after 12.30 you may well find a locked door if you stop off at a village bakery.

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“It's indispensable. You need bread to push your food stuffs, to give them taste, for nourishment. It is good for everything,” masked shopper Yves Lagrellette said this week as he made what has now become his weekly baguette run in Le Vesinet, west of Paris. He bought five in one go, for freezing. He used to buy one daily.

When the government locked down France earlier this month, shutting down schools and stores deemed non-essential and forcing families indoors, it also gave bakers special dispensation to work every day of the week if they wish.

Baker Margot Hazard says she and her husband, Cyril, feel that with their breads and cakes, they are providing a slice of normalcy to customers who line up, standing apart, outside their door, respecting each other's space and handwritten signs on the window that read: “Three people maximum in the bakery."

“The work really is tough at the moment,” Hazard said. “Some clients are very worried about us touching their bread and touching their change. They are all a bit on edge. And we are on edge, too.”

But “it is super important for everyone’s morale,” she added. “It’s important that people eat what they want to eat, to keep their spirits up."

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For first time since the French Revolution bakers in the capital, like this one in Montmartre, can close when they want to after a 1790 law was scrapped as part of a government drive to cut red tape. What a pain! Parisians are facing a baguette crisis after change to French law gives bakers the summer off.

In France , bread is a daily staple. Everyday, mothers send their kids to the local boulangerie (bakery) to pick up a baguette . We usually buy one baguette for breakfast, one for the kids’ after-school snack and one to accompany dinner. French bread is required by law to avoid preservatives, and as a

“A life without bread, cheese and wine is not French," she said.

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Customers Marie and Jean-Claude Lemeux, now work-from-home bankers, agreed. No sooner had he bought their baguette that he ripped one end off and nibbled it, right there in the street. That crusty nub of pleasure even has its own name — “le quignon."

“It’s better fresh. It’s hot, crusty," he said. And baguette-buying “allows us to get out.”

“The sharing of bread is an anchor at the dinner table, at family meals," she said. "We feel a need to focus on family, on food, for life to go on. It’s symbolic.”

But in the Mediterranean town of Sanary-sur-Mer, buying only one baguette risks a police fine of 135 euros ($146). Mayor Ferdinand Bernhard says people shouldn't be using the buying of bread as an excuse to go out every day.

“Anyone caught coming out of a bakery with just one loaf will be fined," he said in a telephone interview. “If you go once a week, you cut the risk by a factor of seven — for you, the baker, his entourage and yours.”

“This is no time for people’s moods. The priority is to not get sick," he said. “You can freeze bread. You can even live without it.”

“It’s not a sacrifice. It’s an adaptation.”

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