French Treats: La Baguette

How did bread become the symbol of a nation? The answer is incomprehensible unless you’ve tasted an authentic, crunchy-on-the-outside, pillowy-on-the-inside French baguette. There are imitations the world over, but it tastes the best at home (ideally slathered with Camembert and served with a big glass of wine). You’ve just got to come try it for yourself.

Name: French baguette (baguette de tradition française)

Origin: Unknown

Height: Between 21 and 25 inches

Weight: Eight to ten oz

Types: La flûte (thickest), la ficelle (thinner), sandwich and toast

Fans: All gluten lovers

Signs of quality:

  • It bounces back when pinched
  • Truly crunchy crust, golden-brown in color, not too flaky
  • Studded with soft, irregular holes
  • Hint of salt and yeast
  • Above all, a long line snaking in front of the bakery