The Baguette: a Symbol of French Culture

Baguette FlavorsFonds de dotation EKIP

The French baguette is more than a long and slim bread with a crunch; it’s a symbol. It may not have a clear definition, and its history may be rather hazy, but the baguette is part of French heritage.

La porteuse de pain by Dubois-PilletFonds de dotation EKIP

Lady Carrying Bread is a painting made by the impressionist painter Albert Dubois-Pillet in 1888. Like many other artists, René Magritte and Pablo Picasso also painted bread in their works.

Shape of the baguetteFonds de dotation EKIP

These slashes, which are made with a sharp blade, are characteristic of the French baguette. The cuts in the dough will impact the color, volume, and shape of the crust. The grigne, as it is called in French, is the bread maker’s signature mark.

The quignonFonds de dotation EKIP

The quignon is a first bite at the tip of the baguette. But it’s more than that. It’s a treat to the person who’s gone to fetch the bread. Walking out of the boulangerie, they can break it off and enjoy. 

Baguette FlavorsFonds de dotation EKIP

No two baguettes are the same. The flour carefully selected by the baker, the fermentation time and the cooking method are several of the elements that affect the flavors of the bread.

The sense of smell is very important in appreciating a baguette. Early in the morning and several times during the day, people can smell the fresh bread being baked as they walk by the boulangeries. 

Many usesFonds de dotation EKIP

Baguettes can be used in sandwiches, smothered with jam, dipped in egg yolk, and in many other ways. And if a baguette is growing stale, it can always be made into delicious French toast using sugar, milk, and eggs.

Bread, wine, cheese: a fermented trilogyFonds de dotation EKIP

Bread, wine, cheese: a fermented trilogy

Between raw foods and cooked foods, fermented foods have always been part of human culture, although they’ve always maintained a certain mystery about them. Cheese, wine, and bread are three examples of highly symbolic fermented foods.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
La Baguette
Featuring more than 2000 images and 75+ Stories from historians, French bakers and culinary experts, La Baguette gives a fragrant taste of the iconic French bread, listed as UNESCO's intangible heritage. Try the game “Baguette Sprint” to learn in a playful way.
View theme
Google apps