Paris has a new king of the crusty baguette with the 31st winner of its annual bread-baking prize.


PARIS (AP) — Paris has a new king of the crusty baguette.

Baker Xavier Netry was chosen this week as the 31st winner of Paris’ annual “Grand Prix de la baguette” prize.

His long loaf beat 172 others.

Competing baguettes were evaluated for taste, look, texture, airiness and the quality of the baking. The jury included a deputy mayor, industry representatives, journalists and six Parisians that City Hall said were drawn at random.

The Utopie bakery in Paris’ 11th district that Netry works for wins 4,000 euros ($4,290) and becomes one of the suppliers of the presidential Elysee Palace for a year.

City Hall said uneaten baguettes from the competition were donated to a charity that feeds people who are homeless.

Netry, a baker for 25 years, said the secrets of his success are a good sourdough starter and “a good long fermentation,” careful cooking and “some love and some passion, of course.”

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