A Travellerspoint blog

A Month in Paris in Winter

Day 13: Baguettes and Black Coats

I am learning how to become a baguette person. Parisians carry a baguette early in the morning for breakfast, or on their way home after work when they pick one up for their evening meal. There are specific strategies to carrying your baguette. Some choose to carry them sticking up out of their backpack. Since a baguette is quite tall, depending on the height of your backpack, I've noted that those with smaller backpacks break their baguette in two pieces. I don't approve of or recommend this at all. Because the French do not use any preservatives, their pastries and breads go stale almost as soon as they hit the air. Best to buy them warm, hurry home, and eat them immediately. A few hours later, any bread which remains is good only for bread crumbs. So breaking them in two renders them stale soon after the breakage. Even if you don't break the baguette, a backpack is a dangerous strategy. I worry that someone might touch it as it sticks up in the air, and I tend to be germphobic. But, since I am not a backpack person, I don't have to worry.

A second popular means of transport is to put your bread in your cloth bag which you bring to the market. The baguette will stick up out of the bag, as well, so you have to be careful that it doesn't topple over and fall out. All in all, I've used this strategy with success.
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Own of my personal favorite methods is to eat and walk. Keeping the baguette wrapped in its paper wrappage, you break off the end piece and eat as you travel. I've done this, but it leaves you perpetually covered in crumbs. Since EVERYONE in Paris wears a black coat (myself included), crumbs on black is not a good look.
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The crumbs are from the crust, which is, in part, the appeal of the French baguette. The inside is more airholes than actual bread, which is probably why the French don't get fat. There is some math and science behind this. If the ratio of hole to dough is greater than weight of the baguette, calories don't count. It's a proven theorem. Look it up.

Last, but not to be dismissed lightly, is the under-your-arm carry. This frees your hands for other activities, like paying for your wine to go with your baguette and finding your keys so you can get into your apartment to indulge in your still warm baguette.

Posted by teethetrav 03:25 Archived in France Tagged paris france baguette black_coats

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