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Who's winning the bread war?

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Hi Peter,

I know there is a great deal of concern among artisan bread bakers about the disappeance of their craft and the continuing wave of lesser, imitation products (par-baked, etc.) filling the marketplace.

What's your take on the status of the battle? Are the artisans winning or losing this one? Is artisan bread baking in the U.S. healthier now than it was 5 years ago?

BTW, I just want to add that I loved American Pie and I'd like to thank you for writing such wonderful book. :smile:


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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I think I tackled that one in an earlier post, but to recap, I think there's room for both. It's a yin/yang thing, like when micro breweries were bought out by the big guys, only to re-emerge 80 years later (our current boom). Some of those will sell-out--why not, the money's will be good and the work is hard. I can't blame LaBrea and Ecce Panis for going par-baked when they've elevated the quality of that category. Yes, it's harder now for the stand-alones and artisans but they are very resourceful and many will find a way to stay alive and thrive, and some will consolidate and give up the fight. But I think artisanship and craftsmanship will always find a market if the artisan has the endurance (that's the hard part!)

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