What are the first things that come to mind when somebody mentions France? The Eiffel Tower, French cheese, the baguette...
Stop there: the baguette.
Let us tell you a tale of this icon of France. A true symbol of the French way of life. In fact, it is a true love story - no ups and downs, no drama.
The French simply adore this perfect crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside stick (yes, the word baguette actually means STICK).
But before we dive into this love story, we must first get our facts right…
Did you know that France has the highest density of bakeries in the world? Around ten billion baguettes are sold in France every year and the French eat an average of half a baguette each day, per person. Now read that again…ten billion. A year.
You cannot walk down the street in France without spotting a boulangerie and at least one French person with a fresh baguette under their arm.
We in France take our beloved baguettes so seriously that there is even a National law about baguettes! Traditional baguettes must be made on the premises where they are sold and can only be made with four ingredients: wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. Their diameter must be 5-6 cm and their length 55-65 cm. They must not be frozen at any stage and must not contain additives or preservatives of any kind. How amazing is that?
On the other hand, this means that they go stale within 24 hours – but who cares? They are so perfect that baguette leftovers are hard to find in France.
Even though we are appalled by the idea of eating in the street, we make an exception when it comes to our biggest love. It is impossible to resist gnawing on the end of that warm, fresh baguette on the way home. And it is so understandable!
This iconic loaf is such a vital part of our life and culture that we have a saying: Long comme un jour sans pain. Which basically means that something is endless and boring – “like a day without bread”. That would indeed be a hard 24 hours!
We could go on, but for you to understand the passion surrounding this soft-hearted crunchy stick, you have to taste it yourself. But never forget to pair it with your favourite Ile de France cheese. Remember, some rules must be obeyed!