Paris At Maison Louvard, the price of butter is less scary than the Covid-19

REPORT This bakery in the 9th arrondissement of Paris has decided not to pass on the increase in the price of butter to that of pancakes, despite the additional constraints linked to the coronavirus

“Is it frangipane or almond cream? “Asks a scooter rider. Stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of rue de Châteaudun and rue du Faubourg Montmartre, he eyed the stall of galettes des rois set up at the entrance to the Louvard house. “With frangipane of course! », Answers the salesman. And buttery, too, one would be tempted to add.

Because, as in the song, Stéphane Louvard, owner with his wife of this bakery-restaurant in the 9th arrondissement of Paris since last April, loves the pancake with butter in it. And not just a little. “The butter is 25% of the final weight of the cake,” he says. So necessarily the increase in the price of butter, – “in the space of four months, the price […] of butter has increased by about 30%”,
according to the dairy industry – Stéphane Louvard feels it even if he puts it into perspective. “We hesitated to increase, like some of our colleagues, the price of the pancake to follow that of the butter,” he says. But with
the Covid-19, that complicates everything. The pancake is a product with a correct margin, so of course by keeping our price [24 euros per pancake for 6 people], we reduce our margin. But by selling less than others, we are betting on selling more. “

Especially since the problem is not so much the price of butter as its supply. “Already at the beginning of December, we didn’t know if we were going to find butter,” he recalls. We thought we were stocking, but the suppliers only gave us what we needed. There was even a week where it was very fair. “

But for the pastry chef, the butter must be of very good quality, because this is the key ingredient for good puff pastry. Normand, Stéphane Louvard has been supplying the country from the same supplier for 20 years. The latter delivers him AOC butter in blocks of 25 kg with 82 to 84% fat. It is also “a very smooth butter, which can be worked cold, between 2 and 5 degrees, without breaking”. This point is crucial, because in the puff pastry, between each layer of dough, a layer of butter is incorporated, which must be flexible enough to be folded and folded, but strong enough not to be incorporated into the dough. . It is the “tourier” who gives “turns”, or folds, to the dough and thus ensures its puff pastry. And it is Stéphane Louvard who takes on this role in his bakery.

“The galette is my favorite thing to make of the year,” he says. It’s very repetitive, very long – about 3-4 days – it takes manpower, but I love it. “In 2012, he won the prize for the best galette des rois de Paris, when he ran a bakery and pastry shop in Miromesnil with his wife. “Then we go to the Pernault newscast and then to BFM Business in an office district, can you imagine? It was madness, we sold 10,000 patties, but we were rinsed. “

A time that seems very distant. Because if Stéphane has not lost his hand – 4th best pancake in Grand Paris in 2022 – because of the Covid, he only intends to sell 3,000 copies in the month of January. With the secret hope that with the resumption of face-to-face, companies are shifting the traditional galette des rois to early February. History of putting butter in the pancake.

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