94 - Gastronomic Cartography: the France of Breads

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This brilliant map is in a gang of one, for the time being – gastronomic cartography. An intriguing category nonetheless: La France des pains (‘The France of Breads’) visually demonstrates the place of origin of France’s different local types of bread. It turns out they come in a lot more shapes than the one foreigners (non-French foreigners, that is) usually associate with a French baguette.


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That shape is represented by the six stick-like loafs forming a little fence across the north of France:

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30 – pain de fantaisie (fantasy bread)
\n31 – pain marchand de vin (wine merchant’s bread)
\n33 – pain saucisson (sausage bread) and
\n35 – pain boulot (work bread);

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but also by

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46 – pain condé (?)
\n46 – le tordu (twisted bread); and
\n69 – le phoenix, pain viennois (the phoenix or viennese bread) further south.

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Interesting to note is that the elongated shape of the ‘typical’ French bread has quite some competition from the atoll-shaped bread:

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12 – (illegible)
\n44 – pain collier (collar bread)
\n43 – le fer à cheval (horseshoe bread)
\n49 – (illegible)
\n52 – la couronne bordelaise (the crown of Bordeaux)

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Other local French bread types more notable for their name than for their shape, are:

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4 – pain chapeau (hat bread)
\n13 – pain bateau (boat bread)
\n22 – pain polka (polka bread)
\n28 – petit pain empereur (little emperor bread; why don’t they just call it ‘Napoleon’?)
\n48 – pain chemin de fer (railroad bread)

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This map taken from this page, under the header ‘Gallery of Data Visualization – The Best and Worst of Statistical Graphics’. Anyone with sharper eyesight, a better version of map or some knowledge of French is very welcome to help me decipher the rest of the map!

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