When we’re in Cannes, we shop regularly at Monoprix, which is in the centre of town across the road from the railway station.

In 2013, I wrote about the terrific bread they had in their food hall:

Monoprix’s breadmaking is overseen nationally by a MOF (meilleur ouvrier de France) who has an expert knowledge of all types of flour and yeast. You can pick up a small booklet at the bakery counter in which Frédéric Lalos — the MOF — describes each type of bread.

I did not eat any supermarket bread in 2015, but somewhere along this timeline, Monoprix must have terminated their contract with the MOF, because what they have now looks and tastes mass-produced.

Monoprix’s artisanal breads used to be in the bakery section with the fresh pastries. No longer. This year in Cannes, they are in the middle of the food hall in a separate display.

The day we left, I bought a Monoprix baguette to bring home (€0.95 for 400g). We thought it would taste like an artisanal product.

It was awful.

Slicing it was the first disappointment. It had a tight, white, soft mass-produced industrial crumb, no different to what one could buy in a North American or northern European supermarket. Ugh.

Even worse, it tasted of nothing, despite the fact that the label said it had rye sourdough in it.

I should have gone up nearby Rue Meynadier to a proper bakery. Next time I will.

Here is Monoprix’s current sad selection of own-brand bread and baguettes. Even the Monoprix Gourmet line looks ordinary. It’s terrible, just terrible.

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