There aren’t too many downsides of living above a bakery, or boulangerie. We can sometimes enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread coming through our windows in the mornings. When we first moved here, I would wake up in the middle of the night because I could smell bread being baked. The only downside that we have to consider is making sure we don’t eat too much bread so our pants will still fit! The bakeries are still open during the lockdown and Jordan goes to buy fresh baguettes a few days a week. Somedays, they are fresh out of the oven and still warm when Jordan comes back upstairs. Those are hard to resist eating right away!
On Saturdays, we let ourselves indulge and enjoy delicious chocolate croissants, pain au chocolat. They are so light, buttery, and are the perfect way to start out a Saturday morning. While we are in lockdown and can’t do anything, I look forward to this day the most. Why do we limit ourselves to Saturdays (Samedi)? If we didn’t, I think we would
be tempted to buy one every day!
The French eat half a baguette a day per person on average, and we are right in line with them. We have learned that we can enjoy fresh baguettes for any and all meals. In the morning, they are great toasted with jam. For lunch, they are great for sandwiches or avocado toast. For dinner, we enjoy our baguettes as a side with soup or pasta. Don’t worry, we typically choose to only eat them for one meal a day!
The French baguette is actually regulated by the government on how it can be made. A law was put in place in September 1993 with specific rules on when you can call bread a baguette, or pain traditional français.
The rules are simple:
- Never Frozen
- No Additives
- Four Ingredients: bread flour, drinking water, salt, and yeast
- Has to be made and sold in the same place (a boulangerie)
These rules make sure that you have the perfect baguette – crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. If they don’t follow these rules, they can’t be considered a traditional baguette and have to be labeled by a different name. There’s no formal rules on the size and weight of a traditional baguette, but typically they will be around 250 grams and around 24 inches long. Jordan and I have talked about trying to make our own baguettes, and if we can find yeast we will document our attempt!
We are still trying to indulge in the French culture while confined to our AirBnB. We recently learned that the French have a verb that they use to describe “mopping up all the remaining sauce” at the end of a meal, saucer. If you know me, I LOVE sauce of any kind (really missing Chick-fil-a sauce right now), and I was really excited to learn that there is a whole word in French dedicated to making sure that no sauce is left behind. As if we need another excuse to eat bread! To saucer, you take a baguette and break it up into individual pieces, and dip each piece into the remaining sauce on your plate to make sure that nothing is wasted from your meal. One of my French coworkers confirmed that this should be done at both lunch and dinner. According to the internet, this can be controversial to do in public, but it can be seen as a compliment to the chef. Since all the restaurants are closed for the foreseeable future, we will have to wait to test out this in public!
Next time you have some remaining sauce on your plate, grab yourself some bread to scoop up the remaining deliciousness. If anyone asks, just tell them you are doing like the French do. You won’t regret it!