Say what you will about the French -- they certainly have their own opinions of us -- but they sure know how to make magnificent bread. That said, if you're planning a trip to Paris to try ultra-fresh baguettes straight from the source, you might be in for a rude awakening: the City of Light is facing a shortage of its most famous crusty loaves. Sacré bleu!
This unthinkable calamity's actually the result of a change in regulation, and one you've probably never heard of. Since 1790, the city's bakers have been required by law to alert the government to their vacation plans in advance, so as to ensure an uninterrupted supply of bread for the public. What's more, this law requires half of the city's bakeries to remain open in July, and the other half in August.
Problem is, that law got repealed last year, and since summer's historically been a slow time for the city's bakers, many of them have opted to take their vacations in the warmer months that were previously off-limits to them. The result? Fewer bakeries open for business, which translates to less bread available to feed the daily carb habits of French folk.
The French media's emphasized that news of this shortage has been largely overblown, particularly by British media outlets, and that most Parisian citizens should have no trouble obtaining bread while the vacationing bakers are gone -- even if that means having to seek out a new, less conveniently located boulangerie for the duration.
Meanwhile, if there was an equivalent shortage of bagels in NYC, you can be damn sure the city would descend into anarchy in the first 12 hours.
Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and he loves a good crusty baguette. Follow his French generalizations on Twitter @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org