Do you remember the first errand you were allowed to run on your own as a kid? Let me tell you about mine, when as a really young girl in France I volunteered to go get bread at the bakery with my brother (he was just a year older) and no adult supervision. I’m not certain where we were exactly, whether on a weekend with our grandma in the suburbs of Bordeaux, or on vacation in Dordogne, but I was very proud to have been entrusted with the morning bread and a coin of 10 francs (yes, before the Euro)! Big deal for me as you can imagine. In any case, the errand ran smoothly until we got our hands on the bunch of warm baguettes, fresh out of the oven. By the time we make it back home however, one was missing… classic baguette disappearance if you ask me...very common with small kids and even grown ups…
Growing up in France, bread was everywhere and no-one seemed to know that it was such a rare, amazing product. It’s so basic to the French, that it’s only while traveling abroad that they start missing it from the bottom of their heart.
Bread-wise, the French mostly eat baguettes, but there are tons of different breads in the bakery. On your next visit, try an “épi” or a “fougasse” for a change. There are also different types of baguettes: the classic, the cereal, the “tradition”... One of my dad’s favorites is the “ficelle”, or string as it is very thin.
In France, “patisserie” and “boulangerie” will practically always go together in a store. “Patisserie” is for pastries while “boulangerie” regards breads. So on top of the many kinds of breads, you will often find macarons, meringues, operas, napoleons… I will get into the detail of these in a future post very soon!
Bread is on all tables for breakfast, lunch, “goûter” and dinner. Gluten free diet isn’t very popular in France as you can guess. We use it as tartines, for sandwiches, or to push the food around from our plate to our fork.
Butter is an all time favorite to go on top of a piece of bread. It’s one of the key ingredients of French cuisine, in pastries, but also sauces and savory dishes. Whether you like it salted or not, my dad always instructed me to put enough butter on top so it’s waterproof like the feathers on a duck : )
FYI, a really great bakery might have a really long line of people waiting to be served. Don’t be intimidated, be patient, it’s usually a good sign!
If you too are missing the taste of baguette, check out the recipe I use everyday at home. You’ll be so happy with it, I guarantee.
Thank you for reading and let me know your thoughts on this article!