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Cash-strapped French snap up ‘yesterday’s baguette’

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Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-12-11

A discount bakery has opened in the French town of Nîmes, which suffers one of the country’s highest unemployment rates. The bakery only sells day-old leftovers - a novelty for a country which prides itself on freshness.

A bakery which sells day-old bread for a discount price has opened in the French city of Nîmes, which suffers the country’s highest unemployment rate.

Selling day-old bread for half the price of a normal baguette, the “Au pain de la Veille” (Yesterday’s bread) also offers pizzas, cakes and pastries.

The products come from traditional bakeries in the city owned by the same company. Left on the shelf the previous day, the sweet and savoury snacks are brought to the discount store and sold for half the price.

A sales assistant in the shop advises buyers to heat the “soggy” bread in the oven for two minutes in order to make it as crusty as the day before, according to a report in French daily LeParisien. Customers shopping at the store told the newspaper that they could barely tell the difference between goods baked on the day or the day before.

“I’m sure with your eyes closed you wouldn’t be able to say,” a law student who had just bought a bargain baguette told the newspaper. A pensioner exiting the shop said she had spent four euros on bread, a flan and a cheese-filled baguette instead of eight euros elsewhere.

The baguette, a prized symbol of French identity and considered sacred by French chefs, is usually considered spoilt the day after it has been baked, and generally thrown away. According to Le Parisien, even the sales assistant working in the shop joked that day-old bread is considered the “anti-Christ” in France, but that the shop was nonetheless proving popular in a city that is one of the worst-hit by the country's financial crisis.

Date created : 2012-12-11

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