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巴黎大奖赛选出来的完美法式长棍面包

更新时间:2019/10/19 9:28:37 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The perfect French baguette
巴黎大奖赛选出来的完美法式长棍面包

Stroll through Paris first thing in the morning, and you’ll see lines of people snaking out of their local boulangeries for their morning bread. That’s because, throughout France, getting up early and buying a baguette is more than second nature; it’s a way of life. According to the Observatoire du Pain (yes, France has a scientific ‘Bread Observatory’), the French consume 320 baguettes every second – that’s an average of half a baguette per person per day and 10 billion every year.

漫步在清晨的巴黎,第一件你会看到的事情是人们排着长队在当地的面包店采购他们的早餐面包。这是因为,在整个法国,起个大早买一根刚出炉的法式长棍面包简直就是法国人的天性,这是他们的生活方式。根据《面包观察站》(Observatoire du Pain)(是的,法国有一个科学机构“面包观察站”),法国人每秒钟消耗320根法棍——换算下来平均每人每天半根,每年100亿根。

It’s no surprise, then, that France takes its baguettes seriously. In fact, every April since 1994, a jury of experts has been gathering in Paris for Le Grand Prix de la Baguette: a competition to determine who makes the very best in the city.

因此,法国对法式长棍面包的重视也就不足为奇了。事实上,自1994年起,每年4月都会有一个专家评审团会聚集巴黎,参加法国长棍面包大奖赛(Le Grand Prix de la Baguette),这场比赛会决定城中最好的长棍面包出自谁家。

Each year, some 200 bakers in Paris enter the competition, delivering two of their best baguettes to a panel of expert jurors first thing in the morning. The baguettes are inspected to ensure that they measure between 55-65cm in length and weigh between 250-300g. Less than half of the 400-plus baguettes that are entered into the competition meet these strict criteria and move on to round two: judging.

每年,巴黎有大约200名面包师参加比赛,选出他们最好的两个法棍一大早就送到专家评审团那里。长棍面包首先须经检查,确保长度要在55-65厘米之间,重量在250-300克之间。在参赛的400多根长棍面包中,只有不到一半的能通过这一严格的标准,进入第二轮的评判。

In the next round, the 14-member jury – which includes culinary journalists, the previous year’s winner and a few lucky volunteers – analyse the remaining loaves based on five distinct categories: la cuisson (baking), l’aspect (appearance), l’odeur (smell), le goût (taste) and the oh-so-French la mie (crumb). A baguette’s crumb should be tender but not damp; spring back when pressed; and exhibit the large, irregular holes that show it has been allowed to slowly ferment and develop flavour.

在下一轮比赛中,由14人组成的评审团——其中包括美食专业记者,前一年的获奖者和几个幸运的志愿者——根据五个不同的类别仔细品评入围的长棍面包:烘焙、外观、气味、味道,以及法国人非常讲究的面包外皮。法式长棍面包的面包外皮应该是柔软而不潮湿的;按压时会弹回;表面上要出现不规则的大型裂缝,表明长棍面包经过了长时间的慢慢发酵以发展风味。

Last year’s champion, Mahmoud M’Seddi, was the youngest-ever winner of the annual competition, at age 27. “I was lucky enough to grow up in a bakery,” recounted M’Seddi, as he led me past his irregular, hand-formed loaves at his small Boulangerie M’Seddi Moulins des Prés, in the 13th arrondissement. “I grew up with my parents, as opposed to kids who were in day care or with nannies. I was always in the bakery.”

去年的冠军,马哈茂德·姆塞迪(Mahmoud M'Seddi)只有27岁,是年度比赛中最年轻的获胜者。“我很幸运能在面包店里长大,”姆塞迪回忆说,他领着我穿过他小面包店里手工制面包。“我是父母带大的,而不是在托儿所,也不是保姆带大的,所以我总是在面包店里。”

M’Seddi’s passion for baking is palpable and stems from his father. Originally from Tunisia, M’Seddi’s father arrived in France in the late 1980s while pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. “During his school vacation, he came to Paris to work in a bakery to make some pocket money, and he fell in love [with bread making]. He didn’t finish his studies. Instead, he started working as a baker,“ M’Seddi recounted.

姆塞迪对烘焙的热情是显而易见的,源自于他的父亲。姆塞迪的父亲来自突尼斯,上世纪80年代末,他来到法国攻读电气工程学位。“在学校放假期间,他来到巴黎的一家面包店工作,赚点零花钱。然后他爱上了烘焙面包。他没有完成学业,而是开始做面包师”,姆塞迪回忆道。

M’Seddi has fond memories of watching his father turn dough into baton-shaped baguettes and working alongside him as a child.

姆塞迪记得父亲把面团做成棍子形状的法棍,从孩童时就和他一起工作。

“It was like being a magician,” he recalled. “That’s how I saw myself when I was small, mixing things together. I had so much fun doing it.”

“就像是一个魔术师”,他回忆道,“我小时候就是这么看待自己的,把东西混在一起。做这件事让我很开心。”

Although his mother warned him against becoming a professional baker because of the gruelling hours and lack of holiday time, M’Seddi decided to join the family business. M’Seddi and his father now run three Parisian bakeries: Boulangerie M’Seddi Moulin des Près, located just south of the picturesque Butte aux Cailles neighbourhood; Boulangerie Maison M’Seddi Tolbiac, a few hundred metres away; and Boulangerie Maison M’Seddi in the 14th arrondissement.

尽管母亲警告他不要成为职业面包师,因为工作时间太长,假期太少,但他还是决定加入家族企业。姆塞迪和父亲现在经营着三家巴黎面包店:位于风景如画的鹌鹑之丘街区(Butte aux Cailles)南部的巴黎姆塞迪面包屋(Boulangerie M'Seddi Moulin des Près);几百米外的姆塞迪托尔比亚克面包屋(Boulangerie Maison M'seddi Tolbiac);还有14区的姆塞迪面包屋(Boulangerie Maison M'Seddi)。

M’Seddi gets up each day at 04:00 to begin preparing the dough for his now-famous loaves, which are made entirely by hand. Fat in shape and lightly caramelised on the outside, they are the epitome of what a truly good Parisian baguette should be.

姆塞迪每天早上04:00起床上工,为他现在已经闻名于世的法国长棍面包准备面团,这些长棍面包全是手工制作的。外形浑厚表皮有点轻微焦黄,是真正的好巴黎法棍面包的缩影。

But he keeps the secrets of his perfect baguette under wraps.

但是对于烘焙完美法棍的诀窍,他秘而不宣。

“I won’t tell,” said M’Seddi with a wry smile.

“我不会说的,”姆塞迪幽默笑着说。

According to 2017 winner Sami Bouattour, baguette perfection is just as elusive as M’Seddi is making it out to be.

在姆塞迪之前,2017年赢得冠军萨米·布阿图(Sami Bouattour)说,完美的长棍面包就像姆塞迪保密的诀窍那样难以捉摸。

“When I was on the jury,” Bouattour said, “it was easy to pick the 10 or 20 baguettes that stood out. But after that, when you’re comparing number three and number eight, the differences are so small.”

“当我在评委团的时候,”布阿图说,“要选出最后20根出色的法棍面包很容易,但是在那之后,要比较第三名和第八名时,差别就很小了。”

For M’Seddi, the magic that makes his baguette stand out from the billions of others consumed in France each year is simple: passion.

对于姆塞迪来说,让自己的法棍面包从法国每年数十亿被吃掉的法棍面包中脱颖而出的魔力其实很简单:激情。

“You could have exactly the same recipe,” he said. “And if one person is more passionate than the other, they’ll have a better result. Even if you’ve done exactly the same thing, it won’t be the same. It’s like magic.”

“你可以有完全相同的食谱,”他说,“如果一个人比另一个人更有激情,他会有更好的结果。即使你们做了完全相同的事情,结果也不会一样。这就像魔术一样。”

M’Seddi has earned the right to place a large, gold decal in his bakery window advertising his status as a champion of the baguette. But that’s not all. Each year’s winner also has the honour of supplying the president of France with his daily bread – a privilege M’Seddi proudly shared with the public by publishing videos on social media of his early-morning routine toting a basket of fresh baguettes towards the immense Elysée Palace.

姆塞迪可以在他的面包店橱窗上贴一大块金色的贴花,宣传他是法国长棍面包的冠军。但还不止如此。每年的获奖者还有幸为法国总统提供日常面包——姆塞迪很自豪地在社交媒体发布视频,与公众分享他的清晨常规项目:提着一篮子新鲜法棍前往爱丽舍宫。

Emmanuel Macron is evidently quite passionate about France’s loaf-making legacy: in 2018, the president insisted the French baguette be granted Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage status. Neapolitan pizza, Croatian gingerbread and flatbread from Central Asia already appear on the Unesco list. But according to Macron, “the baguette is the envy of the whole world”.

法国总统埃曼纽埃尔·马克龙(Emmanuel Macron)显然对法式长棍面包的传统非常热衷:2018年,这位法国总统坚持将法国长棍面包列入联合国教科文组织(Unesco)非物质文化遗产名录。意大利的那不勒斯披萨、克罗地亚姜饼和中亚的面饼已经收录在联合国教科文组织非物质文化遗产的名单上。但在马克龙看来,“法棍才是称羡世界的东西。”

But while there are few symbols as quintessentially French as the baguette, its status – and quality – have been uncertain in recent years. Beginning in the 1950s, bakers began looking for shortcuts to make baguettes more quickly: relying on frozen, pre-made dough; and baking baguettes in moulds rather than free form. Instead of the crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside loaves that M’Seddi bakes every morning, these pale, doughy baguettes became stale almost the moment they cooled down. By the 1990s, they had become the norm for bakers and Parisians.

但是,尽管很少有像法棍一样典型的法国象征,它的地位——和质量——也曾经出现过危机。20世纪50年代开始,面包师们开始寻找捷径更快地制作长棍面包:用冷冻的、预先制作好的面团;用模子而不是任其舒展的烘焙法棍。姆塞迪每天早上出炉的法棍面包,外表酥脆,内里柔软,这些苍白松软的法棍几乎在冷却下来的那一刻就变得不新鲜了。到了20世纪90年代,这种工业化手法已经成为面包师和巴黎人的标准。

“Those bakers at that time were happy,” said Bouattour, as he led me past the fresh loaves at his Arlette & Colette in Paris’ 17th arrondissement. “But it killed our profession.”

“当时的面包师傅都很高兴,”布阿图说,他领着我经过他位于巴黎17区的“阿莱特&科莱特”(Arlette & Colette)面包店里新鲜面包。“但它却扼杀了我们的专业和生计。”

In an attempt to save traditional French baguettes from widespread industrialisation, France passed Le Décret Pain (‘The Bread Decree’) in 1993, establishing that, by law, an authentic baguette de tradition must be made by hand, sold in the same place it’s baked and only made with water, wheat flour, yeast and salt. Today, these new ‘traditional baguettes’ make up about half of the baguettes sold in large French cities – and are the specimens judged in the competition that has taken place every year since 1994.

为了将传统的法国法棍从广泛的工业化中拯救出来,法国在1993年通过了《面包法令》(Le Décret Pain)。根据这条法令,正宗的法式长棍面包必须手工制作,在同一个地方烘焙并出售,原料仅限于水、小麦面粉、酵母和盐。今天,这些新定义的“传统法棍”约占法国大城市所售法棍的一半,也是从1994年以来每年举行的比赛中评判的标准。

And yet, today, some claim that supermarket bread, far cheaper than loaves purchased at bakeries, is edging artisans out of the marketplace. After all, reports French radio station Europe 1, 1,200 small bakeries in France close every year.

但是现在,一些人宣称,超市里的面包比面包店卖的便宜得多,正在把传统面包师傅挤出市场。毕竟,据法国广播电台欧洲一台(Europe 1)报道,法国每年有1000到1200家小面包店倒闭。

“It’s shameful,” M’Seddi said. “It’s bread. It’s France. You need to buy it in a bakery, where people get up early, where they make it by hand.”

“这实在很可惜,”姆塞迪说:“这是面包。这是法国。你应该在面包店买面包,面包师傅起个大早手工制作烘焙的面包。”

In addition to winning this illustrious competition, Bouattour and M’Seddi have a few other things in common. Both forewent the traditional trade school that many aspiring French bakers enter at age 16. Both have been professional bakers for less than a decade (as has this year’s winner, former engineer Fabrice Leroy). And both are first-generation Frenchmen with what Bouattour euphemistically dubs ‘origins’: family backgrounds from elsewhere – or in their cases, Tunisia.

布阿图和姆塞迪,除了两人都是法国长棍面包大奖赛优胜者之外,还有一些共同之处。他们两人都不是传统技术职业学校出身,而许多有志烘焙的年轻人16岁时都会就读技术职业学校学习烘焙。他们两个人的专业烘焙资历都不到10年(今年的获奖者,曾经从事工程师的法布里斯·勒罗伊(Fabrice Leroy)专业烘焙资历也不到10年)。两个人都是移民第二代,他们都有突尼斯血统。

Evoking one’s ethnic background is taboo in nominally egalitarian France. The government has not collected racial or religious information from its citizens since the 1970s (a policy that stems in no small part from censuses performed during France’s Nazi occupation). But while France’s official political stance is intended to engender equality, its reality of beaches forbidding burkinis and naturalisation offices offering to ‘Frenchify’ new citizens’ names seems to tell those with ‘origins’ one thing: assimilate.

在名义上主张平等的法国,公开谈论某人的种族背景是一种禁忌。自1970年代以来,政府不再收集公民的种族或宗教信息。(纳粹占领法国时期曾经实施过这样的人口普查)。尽管法国的官方政治立场倡导促进平等,但是海滩禁止“布基尼”,和入籍办公室提供“法语化”的新公民的名字的现实,似乎说的是另一件事——同化。

At Arlette & Colette, Bouattour sells a range of breads, pastries and viennoiseries, all made by hand each day and all using certified organic ingredients. “Sometimes we get clients coming in saying, ‘The neighbourhood is full of Tunisians – thank God you guys are here!’” he said, referring to him and his wife, who works alongside him in the bakery. “But we have Tunisian origins too.”

在阿莱特&科莱特面包店,布阿图出售各种不同的面包、糕点和点心,所有都是每天手工制作的,并且都使用经过认证的有机成分。“有时会有顾客进来说,‘这附近都是突尼斯人——感谢上帝,你们在这里!’”他说,指的是他和一起在面包店工作的妻子。“但我们也有突尼斯血统。”

Nevertheless, Le Grand Prix de la Baguette contest does a fairly good job of creating an even playing field for participating bakers, regardless of their backgrounds or experience.

尽管如此,法国面包大奖赛做了相当好的工作,为参与的面包师创造一个公平的竞争环境,无论他们的背景或经验。

“All the baguettes were numbered, so we had no idea about who we were evaluating,” explained Meg Zimbeck, founder of restaurant review site Paris by Mouth, of her experience as a past jury member. “The biggest potential problem is palate fatigue. We tasted a lot of baguettes.”

餐厅评论网站《吃在巴黎》(Paris by Mouth)的创始人梅格·津贝克(Meg Zimbeck)在谈到她作为前评委的经历时说:“所有的参赛法棍都编上号码,所以我们不知道自己在评价谁。最大的潜在问题是味觉疲劳,我们尝了很多法棍。”

Interestingly, before M’Seddi’s victory in 2018, three of the last four years’ winners were also French bakers of African origins.

有趣的是,在姆塞迪2018年夺冠之前,过去四年的冠军中有三位也是具有非洲血统的法国面包师。

Djibril Bodian is the baker behind picturesque Montmartre’s Le Grenier à Pain bakery. Also a son of a baker – and a first-generation Frenchman of Senegalese origin – Bodian decided at age 16 to follow in his father’s footsteps. Almost immediately, his bakery school teachers recognised his natural aptitude for the trade.

贾布里勒·博迪恩是风景如画的蒙马特(Montmartre)的“Le Grenier Pain”面包店的面包师。博迪恩也是一位面包师的儿子,具有塞内加尔血统的移民后代。16岁时,博迪恩决定入行。也就是在这个时候,他的烘焙学校老师也发现了他在这行业的天赋。

“The teacher started using me as a good example, saying to the others, ‘Do it like Djibril!’,” he recalled. “It made me feel recognised, but it also put pressure on me. I didn’t want to disappoint him.”

他回忆说:“老师开始把我当作好的范例,对其他人说,‘像贾布里勒那样做!’这让我觉得自己被认可,但也给了我压力。我不想让他失望。”

As a rule, the baker who wins the Le Grand Prix de la Baguette competition is not allowed to compete for the following four years. But after earning the title of Paris’ best baguette in 2010, Bodian said, “I had only one desire: to enter again as quickly as possible. So for four years, while people might have thought I was resting on my laurels, I was already working, trying to improve.”

巴黎法棍面包大奖赛的其中一项规则是,当年获胜的面包师在接下来的四年内不能参加比赛。2010年获奖的博迪恩说:“获奖后我只有一个愿望——尽快重返赛场。因此,接下来的4年,尽管人们可能会认为我在休养生息,但其实我在努力工作,努力提高。”

In 2015, Bodian won the contest for a second time.

结果,2015年,博迪恩第二次赢得比赛。

“It was an immense pleasure and an honour,” he said, laughing. “But when I became a baker 22 years ago, no-one thought that a baguette could bring you to the Elysée Palace.”

“这是一种极大的快乐和荣誉,”他笑着说,“22年前,当我入行时,没有人会想到一根法国长棍面包能把你带到爱丽舍宫。”

Bodian credits his success to both his Senegalese background and values and his French training.

博迪恩将他的成功归功于他的塞内加尔背景和价值观,以及他在法国所受的训练。

“I stopped thinking of myself as a foreigner a long time ago, but my origins make me the person I am today,” he said. “We all start with the same tools, the same teachers, but some people are going to understand things differently. That has nothing to do with origins; that’s just talent.”

“很久以前我就不再把自己看作是外国人了,但我的出身造就了今天的我,”他说:“我们都用同样的工具,有同样的老师,但有些人会有不同的理解。这与血统无关,这就是天赋。”

Bodian, Bouattour and M’Seddi’s stories echo those of France’s 2018 World Cup winning team. Since more than half the roster was comprised of players with African heritage, the victory triggered a national debate over French identity and led many of the team’s players to assertively lay claim to their Frenchness. Much like these players, Bodian notes that the Grand Prix’s participants and results represent France as it is today: a diverse and multicultural country made up of people who are proud to be French.

博迪恩、布阿图和姆塞迪的故事与2018年法国世界杯冠军队的故事如出一辙。由于球员名册一半以上的球员都具有非洲血统,世界杯的胜利引发了一场关于法国身份认同的全国性辩论,并导致法国队许多球员自信地宣称自己是法国人。就像这些球员一样,博迪恩指出,大奖赛的参与者和结果代表了法国今天的样子:法国是一个多元和多元文化的国家,他们来自世界各地但都以身为法国人为荣。

“Whoever wins the contest is a winner,” M’Seddi said. “He’s a champion, whether he’s descended from immigrants or not.”

“谁赢了比赛,谁就是赢家,” 姆塞迪说:“不管他是不是移民的后裔,他都是冠军。”

And while he brushes off the importance of evoking one’s foreign roots, he does admit that there is a certain element of pride when someone of foreign origin takes top prize.

但是他也确实承认,当一个具有外国血统的人获得最高奖项时,的确有某种自豪的成分。

“That’s someone who’s passionate about French culture, who has become integrated as a French person,” he said. “We need to make people proud to be French.”

“获奖者对法国文化充满热情,并且已经成为了一个法国人,”他说:“我们需要让人们以身为法国人为荣。”

What better way to do so than by tearing into a baguette?

还有什么比法国长棍面包更好的办法呢?

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