the best is yet to come

The baguette cult of personality

Four years ago, I spent a magical summer in Paris, capturing memories in a long-forgotten blog. Every Thursday, I’ll post my favorite entries from that blog. This is reprinted from 7-20-10.`


Baguettes are a ubiquitous phenomena in Paris. They are carried around in handbags, grocery bags, and the paper bags in the hands of Parisians like they’re a fashion acessory. Walking into any boulangerie, there is always a line of Parisians buying a baguette (or two) for dinner. It’s quite charming actually.

Baguettes are eaten with every meal, because the French are all into soaking their breads in the leftovers on the plate (this is much less gross and more delicious than it sounds), and because the baguette is the peanut butter to France’s jelly: cheese.

Yesterday, while walking around St. Germain des Pres, I saw a Parisian man cutting open an entire baguette in the middle of the street, sitting by a colorful building. He then proceeded to butter (or perhaps cheese or foie gras) the baguette in its entirety. I feel like the European quality of that moment can never be rivaled by Wonderbread.

“My favorite french places are the ones we find by accident. This sunday afternoon, I sat on a cushion eating Algerian pastries and sipping on sweetened mint tea from a silver tea pot.”





0 thoughts on “The baguette cult of personality”

  • Is it true that the French aren’t allowed to put preservatives in their baguettes, by law, so that you always buy them fresh, for that day, as by tomorrow they’ll always be stale?

    And – a big ask – did you ever go to Rachel Khoo’s restaurant whilst you were there? She did one brilliant cookery series on the BBC as she ran a restaurant out of her flat. Probably had about four seats. Her stuff looked lovely, and the BBC did some wonderful sweeping camera shots of Paris, but after that series she closed her restaurant down.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if it was! Although many of the artisanal bakeries back in the States also have a policy of never selling day old bread, because it gets stale.

      Sadly, I never made it out there. My first journey to France was not as culinarily adventurous as I would have liked (although we did make it out to Chateaubriand a few times, which I didn’t realize was such a big deal until a few years later.

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