Why You Should Not Buy Just “Une Baguette” in France 🥖

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

😱 😱😱What happened to the renowned French baguette??? Don’t worry, there’s still great gold, crunchy bread in France. But there’s something you need to know…

One thing I was looking forward to in moving back to France was easy access to incredible, fresh, crunchy “baguette”.

So I hit “la boulangerie” of Lézardrieux – one of the best of the region – buy a baguette, and rush back home, my mouth watering at the delight I was expecting…

No delight.

A bland, flat bread, not much better the one sold by supermarkets in the US.

What happened to the world renowned French baguette ?

1 – Regular French Baguette = Cheap Bread in France

The price of bread is not government imposed since 1978, but it is still very much monitored and controlled by consumer associations.

The result is that the price of the traditional French loaf varies very little throughout France, around 0.90 Euros in bakeries, around 0.45 Euros in supermarkets.

Hence, the bakers use the cheapest ingredients to keep it low cost. And some people apparently like that taste because “le pain” (the bigger loaf of French bread”) and “la baguette” still sell like… hot cakes (pun intended).

Of course, it’s a question of taste. The regular “baguette” is very light: it’s crust is dry and crunchy but thin, the inside is light and soft. And it doesn’t keep well more than a day.

À Moi Paris Audiobook Method

A new approach to learning both traditional and modern French logically structured for English speakers.

(836 Reviews)

More Details & Audio Samples

2 – Ask for “La Baguette Spéciale” or “la Tradition”

If you are indeed looking for a good baguette, then go to a boulangerie – although some small countryside supermarkets carry breads from a local bakery… and big supermarkets may have their own in-house bakers… so you can actually find good bread at your French local supermarket… But I digress.

Ask the baker what their own version of the baguette is:
comment s’appelle votre baguette spéciale ?

You’ll get many different answers, some being the baker’s own recipe, others being a trademarked recipe:

  1. “la tradition” is quite a common one,
  2. “la spéciale”,
  3. “la campagnarde”,
  4. “la croustillante”,
  5. “la coeur”
  6. or my personal favorite “la croquise”….

To know which one you prefer, only one solution: try them all!

Please consider supporting my free French lesson creation: we’re a tiny husband-and-wife company in France.
Support us on Patreon or by purchasing our unique audiobooks to learn French. Instant download. Learn French offline, at home or on the go on any device!

Here is a fun video of Oliver Gee from the Earful Tower with me at a boulangerie drive in Paimpol. You heard right! The drive !!!

3 – Many Different French Baguettes

And if you ever wondered why there is “une boulangerie” (a bakery) at each corner in France ( like in Paimpol, we’re 8000 inhabitants for 5 bakeries + all the supermarkets !!!) the answer is simple: it’s because of the baguette differences.

French people will have their favorite bakery which bakes their favorite baguette, and they’d seldom go anywhere else.

The bread will be crunchy outside,”la croûte” (the crust) will be more or less thick, with or without flour outside.

The bakers will use different flours, and make “la mie” (the white part) soft and airy, or heavier with more substance.

4 – Why The Different Shapes of French Bread?

The shape of the bread has to do with its conservation. The bulkier, the longer it will stay fresh. Some shapes are more for decoration purpose, or to be able to easily tear up individual portions. “La baguette sarmentine” for example has 4 ends, called “croûtons”… the favorite part for many French people!

baguette sarmentine
Baguette Sarmentine – avec 4 croûtons

French Baguette typically will not keep more than one day.

And you can easily order for half a baguette: “une demi-baguette”!

Would you like to know more about French bread, the different names of bread and how to order bread in France: I wrote an extensive vocabulary article about the French bread vocabulary. Enjoy!

À bientôt !

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

More Articles from Camille Chevalier-Karfis


Leave a Comment

🎁 2.5 Hours French Audiobook - 100% Free / Keep Forever 🎁

Recorded at 3 different speeds + Study Guide + Q&A + Full Transcript

Item added to cart.
0 items - US$0.00

Can You Understand Today’s Spoken French?

It’s not just slang. The French everybody speaks in France today is NOT the overly enunciated, extremely formal French usually taught to foreigners.