French Bread by New French Citizens

Bakers of Maghrebi origin are increasingly renowned in France as they appropriate and preserve one of the nation’s oldest traditions: the baguette.

Far from the political debates on immigration currently holding the public’s attention in France and the United States, new French citizens are spontaneously finding their place in society with little trouble. This trend was spectacularly highlighted with the publication of the results for the Grand Prix de la Meilleure Baguette, a list of the ten best bakers in Paris. Five of the ten artisans had Maghrebi names that left no one guessing as to their origins. The winner was a certain Mahmoud M’Seddi, a baker of Tunisian origin. And another French-Tunisian baker won the competition last year.

What could be more French than the baguette? And yet the people now baking and selling them are immigrants from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. There are a few reasons as to why. Artisanal baking is a highly demanding profession that implies working through


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