The baguette is a symbol of gastronomy, but also of identity. Real bread has between 55 and 70 centimeters, perforated in the middle, and a thin, sharp crust. However, in the land of bakeries, going for bread is a morning ritual that is taken seriously. Not to mention that 80 percent of the bread sold in France is a baguette. In a country where bread is mostly bought in bakeries, not supermarkets, we can found around 35,000 independent bakeries.
Baguette de tradition
In the 1970s and 1980s, some French bakeries began using frozen dough. For that reason, they bring a decree from 1993, “baguette de tradition“.
By law, a traditional baguette must be made in the room where it is sold. Only four ingredients may be used in the preparation: wheat flour, water, salt, and yeast. Ingredients can’t be frozen, and you will not be allowed to use additives or preservatives. Baguette can’t be older than 24 hours. Bakeries must display labels stating that the baker is a master of the craft.
Every year in Paris we can see the competition for the best baguette, which is no small thing. The real baguette is between 55 and 70 centimeters tall. But it is not true that all French people adore national bread. Some of them will say that this bread is without the taste and becomes too hard after lunch. There are several criteria for evaluation: appearance, degree of baking, texture, smell, and taste, and each of them can bring up to four points.
The origin of the bread has not been clarified yet. It is said that Napoleon was looking for the bread of appropriate dimensions to fit in the back pocket of his uniform. Also, there is the version connected with the workers of the Paris Metro. Their bosses were looking for bread that can be broken by a hand. In the 19th century, we can see the long bread, and the next hundred years were crucial for the creation of the baguette.
The French have a special connection with their bread. Baguette is a symbol of French gastronomy, but also of their identity. For most of them, the morning ritual is to go to the bakery for bread.