A Parisian baker lays out his baguettes. Since World War II, consumption of bread in France has fallen from 900g to 138g per person per day but this still includes more than 10billion baguettes per year.
Paris – Been there

A baguette from Paris. How do you know you have a good one?

Photo by Godong

Paris – Been there A baguette from Paris. How do you know you have a good one?

“Bonjour, madame. Baguette, pas trop cuite, s’il vous plait," comes an order. It is essential to say hello. The slightly undercooked baguette will cut down on crumbs at home for the house-proud or busy customer.

Kieran Meeke
Kieran Meeke Travel Writer

The baguette is a distinctly Parisian tradition, delicious fresh, when they can be eaten without butter, but stale by the next morning, when they are eaten with butter and jam for breakfast. Outside Paris, where people live further from bakeries, “pain de campagne", country bread, takes precedence, although Lionel Poilâne made a name for himself with his artisan version of this round loaf.

The baguette is taken so seriously in Paris that an annual competition gives the winner the right to supply the presidential Elysée Palace for a year, as well as a small cash prize and bragging rights. By law, it has to be made only with flour, yeast, salt and water. No preservative, which is why it goes stale so quickly.

How do you know you have a good one? By the instant quality control that every Parisian uses as they exit the boulangerie: twisting off one end and popping it into their mouth. This crusty heel or “le quignon” is the only thing you can eat on the street in Paris, unless you want to look like a tourist.

Want to explore more of the food scene in Paris? See who we voted the best restaurant in Paris 2018

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Every year since 1996, France has celebrated a Feast of Bread, Fête du Pain, for the week around May 16, the feast day of Saint Honoré, patron saint of bakers. There are about 32,000 bakeries, one for every 1,800 inhabitants, in France, employing about 160,000 people and serving 12 million customers every day. Photo by Anastasiya Piatrova / Alamy

Anastasiya Piatrova

Anastasiya Piatrova

Agency
Alamy

Every year since 1996, France has celebrated a Feast of Bread, Fête du Pain, for the week around May 16, the feast day of Saint Honoré, patron saint of bakers. There are about 32,000 bakeries, one for every 1,800 inhabitants, in France, employing about 160,000 people and serving 12 million customers every day.

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