Au Revoir to Real Croissants?

As if finding a good pastry wasn't hard enough, a new report indicates that more than half of croissants sold in France are factory-made.

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Forget the Eurozone issues: France risks losing something much more important, and certainly more French, than the euro: le croissant. According a report in the Telegraph, more than half  of croissants sold in France are no longer made at the bakery — rather they are so-called “industrial” croissants, made in a factory and simply reheated on site.

One Parisian baker who still makes his own croissants from scratch, Eddy Le Tourrier, said that his customers will be able to taste the difference: “Our croissants are not rubbery, nor are they full of air,” Le Tourrier told reporters. “They are consistent and at the same time light, unctuous and crispy when they come out of the oven.”

Le Tourrier has put a sign up in his shop window saying: “All our products are prepared on site. They have not been chosen from a catalog and delivered frozen by the industry.”

(MORE: McDonald’s Next French Foray: The McBaguette)

By law, a French baker or boulanger cannot call his or her shop une boulangerie unless it makes its own bread. But the croissant-industrial complex has discovered a loophole: the law only applies to bread and baguettes. S0-called viennoiseries — croissants and other pastries — can be delivered from anywhere.

This loophole has created a problem for the true bakers who still make their pastries in house: the industrial version is much, much cheaper. Pas de problème: According to Telegraph, the National Federation of Bakers and Patissiers is looking into the issue. Starting Monday, they are providing bakeries with a “home-made viennoiseries” sign that they can post on their shop windows to prove to customers that what they see will really be what they get.