I set out to reveal the truth behind the phenomenon during a backpacking trip around France. Within a few days I was making headway. What makes a good baguette? Why do the French consume so many? After munching about 20 I reckon I had it.
After careful deliberation I concluded it was all about the ‘crunch chew’ factor. The crispiness is paramount in a good baguette. Although there has to exist a vacuum of dough in the hollow nest of the crispy case. It is this fluffy consistency, the airy and delicate state of the dough, that is the go.
In my first two days I had consumed roast chicken baguettes, brie and fresh olive oil baguettes, steak, french fries and sauce combo baguette, toasted aubergine baguettes, shaved ham and mustard baguettes and plain fresh warm baguettes. Mini baguettes, massive baguettes. A baguette bonanza. Too many b’s. Introducing Brian Badongy....
The days in France rolled around the baguette bonanza. They became a morning ritual. A trip down to the local bakery, share a laugh about how hot the baker girl is and some crude joke about a bun in the oven, then wander home along the sun baked road.
The baguette could be enshrined in Frances constitution for all it mattered. (just as the italians have next door have with their parma ham) Life evolves around the crusty bread sticks, like pillars holding up the foundations of society. Everyone pops into the Boulangerie each day to buy their bag I began to understand why and what it meant to share some of this bread. Maybe Jesus is in my Backpack? (see two posts below) Was it only the French that picked up on his lasting legacy of sharing bread....
Hey Mr, Nice Baguette
But its these little rituals I enjoy when getting to know a place. Its the slackpacker in me. Wanting to get under the skin of a place. Wanting to really know how the locals live. What they do and why they do it.
The baguette proved to be my telescope into the kaleidoscopic world of France.