PARIS, -- French officials declared an emergency pastry distribution period in an attempt by the government to stop the civil disturbances across the country.
The government of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin made a statement defending the plan, which would hand out free French pastry and other baked goods to rioters that continue to swarm through neighborhoods each night burning cars, targeting businesses, schools and churches with gasoline bombs and firing ammunition at the police.
"We did this once," said a government official, "during the Algerian War to curb the violent actions of soldiers bent upon our destruction. It could work now for those who have shown disorder in the streets."
France's Interior Minister announced the handouts would take effect at midnight in areas to be determined by where the best bakeries can be found in the city.
Officials from various prefects of France's seven military zones will hammer out details of the measure, said the best cook in the Prime Minister's office.
Expected to be included in the pastries handed out are Pâte à choux, a cream-puff pastry made from a mix of hot water, flour and butter with beaten eggs; pâte brisée, a rich flaky dough for quiches; pâte sucrée, a sweet, rich pastry for tarts and filled cookies; and pâte feuilletée (also known as puff pastry), buttery, delicate, and many-layered.
"They`re not just for dessert," said a spokesman from the Interior Minster's kitchen. "Pastry doughs are used in countless savory recipes. You can wrap a pâté or cover a stew, as a quiche shell or for a puff pastry shell filled with a cream-sauce based mixture of chicken, fish, meat or vegetables. This should hamper all the violence, since no one can burn cars and destroy property while being offered courses that use the work of the pastry chef and his artistry with lemon, fig, pear, and apple; crêpes; custards; cakes; stewed fruits; soufflés; mousses; puddings; and ices."
There was no immediate statement from President Jacques Chirac, who appeared fatigued from testing many of the sugary delights before they were decided to be on the menu.
The impending distribution received a mixed response from politicians and citizens. Many people expressed relief at the possibility of order but others criticized the measure as unfair, since the pastries cost so much and none will be available for free to peaceful people.
"We may have to riot," said a peaceful person who was aghast at the idea of not getting any baked goods free.
French law reads that emergency pastries can be used by the government for up to two weeks on all or part of the territory of France. Beyond that, the law gives the authorities powers to force feed anyone with the products.