Paris might be hosting the Olympics next year, but an even more important competition just took place: the 30th annual ‘Grand Prix de la Baguette de tradition française de la Ville de Paris’ (in other words, the Baguette Grand Prix).
The yearly competition, an ode to the traditional French baguette, has been held since 1994 and sees Parisians go head-to-head in a battle to prove that their baguette is the very best in the city.
To even have their loaves considered, bakers must meet some rather exacting standards. Contenders are allowed to each submit two baguettes that weigh between 250 to 300 grams, measure between 55 and 70 centimetres, and contain 18 grams of salt per kilogram of flour. Judges – which include professionals as well as a randomly-selected jury of Parisians – then blind-taste their work, paying attention to categories including cooking, appearance, texture, smell, and taste.
After fierce competition, the winning baguette this year was created by Sri Lankan baker Tharshan Selvarajah from the Au levain des Pyrénées boulangerie in Paris’s 20th arrondissement. The 37-year-old, who moved to France from Sri Lanka about a decade ago, had previously placed in the top five in the 2018 competition. Now, he has taken home the €4,000 prize and a year-long contract to be the French president’s official baguette supplier at the Élysée Palace.
How’s that for being a breadwinner?
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