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To crunch or not to crunch? That is the question! Crunching on a freshly bought baguette is by far the most Parisian way of making people believe you’re 100 % local. Just buy it warm from the bakery, walk around in a seemingly casual fashion and give it the occasional bite. Good. That will do.

The meaning:

“la baguette” =   a long thin loaf of French bread, a.k.a. “the French stick”

The history:

A classic thin crisp baked to golden brown perfection? Oui, c’est la baguette! Like the Eiffel tower, red wine and airy cheese, it is an indisputable symbol of France and a proud national icon! A standard baguette has a diameter of 6 cm and a usual length of about 65 cm. History has it that the first one was baked in the beginning of the 20th century and the French have been munching on the tasty stick ever since!

Le Grenier à pain baguettes

Baguettes from le Grenier à Pain

The cause:

In October 1920, a new French law forbade bakers to work before 4 am, which meant they didn’t have time to prepare the traditional round bread for the breakfast table. So they inevitably turned to the rapidly baked baguette, which became an instant hit!

The joke:

French law bans walking more than 7 steps from a boulangerie (bakery) without tasting a just bought baguette! The penalty for this offense is yet unknown, since this crime is simply uncommittable…

The formula:

After all, it’s no secret. A baguette is just the sum of its ingredients, that is:  flour + water + salt + yeast + malt! But don’t you ever dare say this to a Frenchman, unless you want to start another French Breadvolution!

The curious fact :

Home to some of the best boulangeries in town, Montmartre is a focal point of artisan baking. So it comes as no surprise that for the 3rd consecutive year a baker  from the 18th arrondisement won the competition of The Best Baguette in Paris (where if not here, they’d have an actual competition like that?!) A worth mentioning fact is that the winner becomes the official baguette supplier of the French president and the Elysées Palace (the president’s official residence) for a year! Each day the president sends his driver in a big black limo to pick up the crusty treasure for the Elysées tables!

Le Grenier à pain bakery

Le Grenier à pain bakery, Abbesses street

Not to be missed:

Next time you come by our office, don’t miss the chance to taste the president’s daily bread at “Le Grenier à Pain”! They were elected the Best Baguette Masters in 2010, and – you can take it from us – they’re truly amazing! We should know because that’s where we buy our baguettes from every single day! That’s how toothsome they are!

Le Grenier à pain

Le Grenier à pain

How to get there :

Le Grenier à Pain” is at 38, rue des Abbesses, 75018, Paris

Métro line 12, métro stop : Abbesses

P.S. As this article was written, the author was inescapably munching on a sinfully delicious baguette. Mmmmm…