A French baker is leading a crusade to give made-at-the-bakery croissants a special status, similar to that accorded to the 'baguette tradition' in 1993.
Frederic Roy, who works in Nice, notes that about 85% of France's croissants are now "industrially manufactured," either in mass production factories or at other places besides the corner boulangerie. And that often means that extra ingredients are used to extend shelf life.
Roy is campaigning to get the government to designate a category for 'traditional' croissants, which would need to be made on premises, with traditional flour, French butter and no additives. The 1993 Bread Decree created a similar definition for baguettes made on premises using only flour, yeast, salt and water.
"I simply want to protect the croissant. This new category would help create a noble, true and 100 percent natural pastry," Roy told TheLocal.fr "Today the customer can't know if the croissant has been made at the boulangerie itself and this is why I want to create this status."
One of the reasons he feels the need to act now is that steep increases in the prices of butter and flour have pushed the cost of croissants up, tempting more makers to use cheaper ingredients. Roy feels that the special status would allow a price that would cover the traditional ingredients.
Ironically, of course, neither the croissant nor the baguette is originally French; both have Austrian origins. But no one, clearly, is more protective of them than French boulangers.