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French baguette vending machine provides fresh bread on demand
For many travelers, a baguette loaf of bread is synonymous with France. A new innovation could make getting a fresh French baguette easy and accessible 24/7 to anyone with a Euro coin. French baker Jean-Louis Hecht has developed a baguette vending machine capable of taking precooked loaves and producing piping hot baguettes in seconds. So far, he has two machines installed near each of his bakeries in the northeastern town of Hornbourg-Haut and Paris and hopes to expand operations throughout France and Europe.
The baguette is a quintessential part of any French meal, yet many bakeries shut down early and for much of August for vacation, depriving many of a fresh loaf on demand. Hecht's machine could serve as a solution for small bakeries who want to maintain business without being open all the time. Hecht's machines have sold up to 4,500 a month and he reasons at that rate they pay for themselves in one year. The French may be buying, but they're still skeptical. "It's definitely convenient – but it's just not quite the same as fresh bread," said Parisian customer Tiphaine Ath. "Five seconds and it's ready? I have my doubts."
Would you try a baguette from a machine? What foods have you found in foreign vending machines? Check out our round up of crazy vending machines from around the world - from pizza to pets!