04/28/2014 01:50 pm ET Updated Apr 29, 2014

16 Reasons We Need More Neighborhood Bread Bakeries

Flickr: Dan Cederholm

In the eyes of food lovers, France is revered for so many culinary reasons. The master sauces that are the backbone of countless great dishes were created in their kitchens. Their rich, creamy cheeses have made lactose intolerant souls throw caution to the wind for just one more taste. And while most people boast the wines -- which are without a doubt worthy of every compliment -- we fall apart over the bread.

Ah, THE BREAD. Not only is it beautifully golden, with a complex aroma. But it's also wonderfully crusty with an interior crumb we'd like to lie down and take a nap on. Also, it's plentiful. Available to everybody. All day, every day (except Sundays and holidays of course). We've adopted many of the great culinary gifts France has to offer, but we've been a little slow on the uptake when it comes to the bread -- and the neighborhood bakeries.

The U.S. has seen a renaissance in bread bakeries, but the examples are few and far between. We need more -- a lot more. So those of you who are pursuing medical degrees, studying for the Bar or getting your MFAs -- STOP -- invest in a bread baking oven instead and open up a neighborhood bread bakery. Your community will thank you (or at least we will).

  • 1 Just think of all the sourdough.
    Flickr: sierravalleygirl
    Trust us, you want more of this in your life. And it should be readily available too.
  • 2 It can improve air quality.
    Flickr: Heather Martin
    Or at least make your block smell AMAZING.
  • 3 Your eggs will be happier.
    Flickr: Alpha
    How could they not?
  • 4 It will give you a reason to go for a walk.
    Flickr: Juno Lee
    Will walk for fresh bread.
  • 5 They usually sell pastries too.
    Flickr: Alexis Lamster
  • 6 You won't have to resort to cheap, bleached supermarket sandwich bread anymore.
    Flickr: George Oates
    But you still totally can if you want to. Sometimes it's the only thing that will do. But all other times, freshly baked, artisanal bread is the way to go.
  • 7 Because you could be eating sandwiches like this whenever you want to.
    Flickr: Didde Elnif
    Are you convinced yet?
  • 8 You won't sweat the small stuff anymore.
    Flickr: Renée Suen
    It's hard to worry about little annoyances when a beautiful loaf like this is in your hands (or at least right down the street).
  • 9 Neighborhood bread bakeries are a tradition steeped in history.
    Flickr: Janice Waltzer
    It's one worth fighting to keep alive.
  • 10 Dinner will get easier.
    Flickr: Matt DeTurck
    With a beautiful loaf of bread, you don't need much else than a simple bowl of soup to be content.
  • 11 Eating fresh and healthy will become infinitely easier.
    Flickr: Zhu
    So many fewer preservatives in your diet.
  • 12 You won't have to be this guy ever again.
    Flickr: Luke Gattuso
    Too many choices...
  • 13 Or try to decipher which labels are giving you what you need out of your bread.
    Missing the days when bread was just bread.
  • 14 Your quality of life will go up by a million percent.
    Flickr: Borja Iza
    Because just look at the bread you get to eat.
  • 15 The bakers might come to know you by name.
    Flickr: Brian
    Think Cheers, but with crusty loaves of bread in place of beer. It's great.
  • 16 Also, baguettes.
    Flickr: Chris Goldberg
    Case and point.

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