There are thousands of reasons to love France but without a doubt, for most of us, bread is definitely up there at the top of the list!
The French are a country of bread lovers. You’ll find brilliant boulangeries everywhere, in cities and towns and the smallest of villages. Often the baker will proudly display a sign declaring his bread is baked in a wood oven – giving it an authentic flavour. Apparently 6 billion baguettes are consumed each year in France. That’s a whopping 100 baguettes per person per year!
Going to a French boulangerie and queuing for your freshly baked baguette is a cultural experience, not just a shopping trip.
French bread – a way of life
Gastronomy is UNESCO listed in France, so important is it to the heritage of its people and bread is most definitely a part of it. Just think of that famous saying attributed (wrongly, probably) to Marie Antoinette “let them eat bread”, enough to fuel a revolution.
Bread has been around for centuries and the famous long thin stick of French bread has been around since around the middle of the 18th century. It was, though only called baguette in the early 20th century. It wasn’t unusual for bakers to make them up to 6 feet long in those days. Imagine sticking that under your arm as you wander the streets or hop on your bike! Going on the Metro would definitely be interesting with a whopper like that.
Go on holiday to any region in France and check out the boulangeries in the area. It will definitely enhance your visit. It’s a simple act but it’s deep. According to statistics 98% of French people eat bread every day. Line up with the locals for your morning, lunch time, afternoon or evening fix and you’ll get a taste of daily life – literally!
Who can resist the smell of fresh cooked bread, the sound of the crust crackling as a golden baguette cools down, the pride of the baker stacking his loaves, the light in the eyes of his customers!
For the best boulangerie, ask a local in a cafe or at the market, they’re usually very happy to share their favourites!