This is how President Emmanuel Macron described the French baguette earlier this year when he backed calls to have it listed as a UNESCO cultural treasure.
Intrigued and delighted by this, I just had to find out more information about the baguette, why that shape, how did it become so popular in every corner of France, in short what is the history of the tradition French Baguette.
Starting around the 14th and 15th century people had to use a Communal oven to bake their bread, which was mostly round in shape. However, even though they were called Communal they did not belong to the Community. The oven was the property of the local Lord or the Church who would charge the surfs for baking their bread. Following the French Revolution, the ovens became the property of the village; no more fees.
Once a week the oven was fired up and the locals would carry the dough they had prepared at home to the oven. Each family would mark the top of the bread with a distinctive cut to distinguish their bread from the other families.
The ash created during the baking was collected, mixed with water and used for the laundry.
Baguette’s really took off in the 1920’s after a new law prevented workers starting work before 4am. In older to get the bread baked in time for breakfast, bakers started to make long, thin ‘wand”s of bread. Although the dough at that time was still made at home and then taken to the Boulangerie to bake.
Bread oven’s can be seen all over France in the Boulangerie, or in the centre of the village, in the grounds of a property or in the property itself.
So if you are looking for a new home …
Event:-Le château de Castlenaud celebrates the European Heritage Weekend on the 15th and 16th September with a Medieval Fencing Tournament.