For the 22nd consecutive year, French people celebrated the annual Bread Festival, which takes place over a week around the date of Saint Honoré’s Day, the patron saint of bread, May 16. This festival offers the opportunity to learn everything there is to know about making bread, pastries and other sweet products, thanks to French bakers, known as boulanger-pâtissier (bakers-pastry makers).
Not all bread makers have the right to call themselves boulangers and not all bakeries have the right to call themselves a boulangerie. The Festival of Bread is designed to emphasize these differences, to promote breads that are made under the specific rules of the art form that have been perfected over centuries, and to remind everyone that the best bread has a name: French traditional bread.
This year’s theme was based around physical activity, and focused on the physical aspect of bread making. Events took place all across France, with the biggest part of the festival taking place in Paris. The Parisian event took place under an enormous marquee tent, complete with six reassembled bake houses, 8 ovens, around 100 different bakers and bakery apprentices, and more than 3,000 baguettes of the French tradition made each day.
The event included bread making activities for kids, so they could take their own small bread home with them at the end of the day, promoting the work of young bakery apprentices, and highlighting creative new bread varieties.