Each year the City of Paris organises the competition of the ‘Grand Prix de la Baguette de Paris’. Not sensational if you bear in mind a true Parisian visits his ‘boulangerie’ for a fresh baguette at least once, but preferably twice a day.
This year the 17th edition of the contest took place. Of the 1200 Parisian bakeries 174 sent in their baguette. A serious matter is here at stake here. Bakers are only allowed to supply bread classified as ‘de tradition française ’, if it meets certain legally determined criteria. The ‘baguette de tradition’ has to be fifty to seventy centimetres long, weigh between two and three hundred grams and contain not more than eighteen grams of salt per a kilo of flour.
Based on these criteria thirty-eight baguettes dropped out in advance. The remaining baguettes went on to be judged on baking, taste, crumb, aroma and appearance.
Pascal BARILLON of bakery ‘Au Levain d’Antan’ was crowned as the winner this year. His shop in ‘rue des Abbesses’ in the 18th arrondissement is rather small and simply equipped. However, queues of gourmets don’t fit in the shop and customers are waiting in the street. You don’t need to be well-known or have a sophisticated shop layout to deliver a baguette of superior quality. And the winner’s reward? An amount of € 4.000,- and the honour to supply baguettes to the French president family in the Elysée for a year.