The world is so big, filled with layers to discover. I just love it when a little window into a new place opens and you learn about something that you never knew existed. I had just such a finding today. There is an article in the Wall Street Journal on the front page about the Baking World Cup. Since 1992, every 3 years, international teams of bakers gather to compete in a “baking marathon.” The artists must produce perfection in three categories – baguettes, yeasty pastries and a freestyle or “artistic” piece for panel of judges (which apparently range from a map of France crafted with a scalpel to full bread statues of sexy women).

After further reading on the Chicagoist, I found that a fellow Chicagoan is heading to France to represent the USA and uphold their championship status. That is right… Americans won the Baking World Cup last time. Hard to believe from a country with aisles full of preservative-pumped, plastic-enshrined loaves, but, also somewhat encouraging.

Although I enjoy a good sports match, I would take a seat in the stands of the Baking World Cup any day over most major events – including the Superbowl or the perhaps even the World Series… unless the Cubs were playing. I am dying to see how this whole thing goes down. Is there a large journalist section? Spectator’s arena? Announcers?

Commentator #1: I don’t know Pierre, it just seems to me that Paul from the American team is just not kneading the dough with the same gusto we have seen in the past years.

Commentator #2: You are right… I see it too. His wrists are not turning with his usual fluidity. This could be the extra edge that the French are looking for to take back this competition.

Commentator #1: I have also heard big things are expected from the Japanese team. They are a competitve group. Rumor has it that the captain was chosen and trained since birth to lead this team at this Baking World Cup. His country has high hopes for him.


Commentator #2: It really is anyone’s game this year….

The photo above has nothing to do with the Baking World Cup. But, who wants to read a story without a visual?! It is a delicious olive loaf I ate in San Francisco while visiting my friends Stephen and Molly.