Classified Ad for Buttered Baguette Resonates Across France
While not the biggest crisis facing France these days, the country's butter shortage led to a bit of comic relief when a classified ad for a buttered baguette went viral yesterday. The listing on French Craigslist equivalent Le Bon Coin offered the heavily buttered baguette (in the form of an open faced sandwich with spread, or "tartine" in French) for five Euros (about $6), described as: “Tartine for sale covered in real half-salted (demi-sel) Breton butter, bought just a week ago." “I stress that the tartine has been toasted," clarifies the seller behind the now-removed listing, "however I waited for it to cool before applying the butter. Enjoy it, for the same price as a kebab.”
Adding that the baguette could also be cut and sold in smaller sections, the seller from the Brittany region eventually revealed to France Radio that the listing was actually just meant a joke about France's butter shortage, and wasn't really for sale (or perhaps he ended up eating it himself?). Other ads may be more genuine though, with Le Bon Coin listings for blocks of butter reaching 50 Euros, according to French news outlet The Local.
The butter shortage is the latest result of what began in 2015, when the European Union ended its system of milk quotas. The ensuing influx of milk supplies cause global milk prices to fall, and in response, dairy farmers cut output. Meanwhile, growing demand for butter both in the West and growing, increasingly pastry-fond economies like China and the Middle East caused prices to rise nearly 300% in the last year. Which, among other things, makes croissants more expensive.
The butter and baguette combo is far from the weirdest or most expensive food item sold online in recent years though. It wasn't long ago that here in America, a Flamin' Hot Cheeto that was apparently like deceased gorilla Harambe went for $99,000 on eBay, or that Kanye West's alleged food garbage reached five figures on the same site. Compared to what sellers are up to over here, maybe French butter isn't the worst deal after all.