Thursday, October 20, 2011

A vital force of the "ancienne"

Seeking to strike the right balance, big-scale bakeries today would portray the baker as a "guardian of traditions" but insisted that he "is nonetheless an artisan of today." The symbolic power of (good)will bridged the chasm between theory and practice. Central bread factories awash in wistfulness for "the rediscovered bakery [la boulangerie retrouvée]", placed its ambitions in the same tradition of sensible marriage, evoking "a happy balance between the utilization of perfected matériel and a perpetuation of certain gestures of autrefois". The evocation of l'ancienne was more often a "coup du décor" - a decorative ploy -  than the harbinger of better bread. The original bread does not exist.... The fashion for the authentic is governed by the authentoc" - gaudy imitation. Yet our confidence in the past as a guide to primal virtues seems boundless.

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