November 21, 2006 - 12:50pm
Good Bread is Back author judges NYC baguettes
A well-written, funny and, sometimes, brutal article in New York Magazine in which Cornel Professor and French bread expert extraordinaire judges NYC baguettes.
You don’t invite Steven L. Kaplan, Goldwin Smith Professor of European History at Cornell University and the world’s preeminent French-bread scholar, to a blind tasting and not expect the crumbs to fly—which they did, all over the wall-to-wall carpeting. “Jesus!” exclaimed the professor, having barely crossed the threshold. “Some of these breads are ugly.” It is that brazen frankness, that instinctively critical faculty, that has improbably won this Brooklyn-born bon vivant legions of fans in France, where he lives part of the year, and where the government, in its chastened gratitude for his missionary baguette zeal, has twice dubbed him Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. To test his mettle—and our town’s best baguette efforts—we assembled a baker’s dozen, all of approximate freshness, and subjected them to Kaplan’s rigorous system of evaluation.
He judges the Sullivan St. Bakery's stirato (an Italian bread like a baguette, and their best equivalent). Yes, that Sullivan St. Bakery of the no-knead bread fame.
An entertaining read.