Butter Shortage Threatens France’s Croissant Production, Though Supply Of Berets and Striped Shirts Still Abundant

You may have noticed that butter is expensive. Do you want a lesson in how crazy global economic forces are? One of the reasons butter is expensive in Europe and the US is that demand is surging for Australian-made infant formula in China. A drought in New Zealand also contributed to a smaller supply which pushed prices up nearly 50 cents per pound over last year. Look at me explaining the economic realities of the dairy market like some kind of wonk. I feel like I could lose an election to some dumbass reading a Ronald Reagan bumper sticker any minute now.

Perhaps the hardest hit by this global butter crisis is France, since literally everything is made with an unhealthy amount of butter and/or red wine. If you suggested to a French patisserie chef that he should use margarine or shortening instead of butter, he’d probably punch you in the dick. But as stores in France have refused to raise butter prices, dairy farmers have taken to exporting butter to more favorable markets in surrounding countries where they can get a higher price.

This has led to a glut of buttery Frenchmen and Frenchwomen stockpiling the stuff. Which, I’m just saying, after Last Tango in Paris the last thing I want to see when I walk into a Frenchman’s pantry is 50 pounds of butter.

In Australia, according to the Weekly Times, bakeries are already preparing to use margarine and other butter substitutes to keep prices down.

Essence Patisserie owner Brendan Giardina said he has already tested croissants, sausage rolls, shortbreads and lemon tarts using butter substitutes such as margarine. “By using half butter and half (butter) substitute you get about 70 per cent of the original flavour,” the Rouse Hill businessman told The Sunday Telegraph. “If there is another price rise before Christmas, which there is likely to be, then we will switch to using butter substitutes. Otherwise we would have to increase the price. I would prefer to sell more at the same price rather than put the price up and sell less.”

They also talked to a French-native chef in Australia, so get ready for the dick-punching.

The pain is also hitting restaurateurs like French-born chef Guillaume Brahimi. The Guillaume Paddington owner goes through 100kg of butter a week and said price are going beyond. Mr Brahimi ruled out cooking with margarine, saying he is looking at alternative ways to recoup his losses. “Forget about North Korea, there is a butter shortage in France and beyond,” he said. “We are giving butter away when people arrive. Maybe we need to start charging for it.”

Yeah. Remember when North Korea tortured that American citizen to death for moving a poster or something? That’s nothing, because Bill may have to charge for butter. The dick punch is about to be on the other… foot, I guess? Foot punch? Dick kick? That rhymes, I like it.

Anyway, relief for France and an end to me personally buying Blue Bonnet, a margarine I can only describe as “almost food-grade” that I use because I don’t have time for $4 a pound for butter I’m just going to use to make a $1 box of Kraft Dinner, could soon be over. Pierre Begoc, a French dairy market analyst, told Bloomberg that dairy farms will probably increase production to meet the rising demand, which will bring prices down. And then the French can go back to stuffing their faces with baked goods to forget that Jerry Lewis died, taking all the mirth in France with him, leaving behind a desolate hellscape of butterless mimes smoking cigarettes.

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6 years ago

No butter shortage. Cross check your sources.