Frencitude Lesson #25 : Have a Love Affair With Real Bread

Don’t try to convince French people that bread is bad. You will get laughed out of the room.

Here in France bread (along with wine) is considered the staff of life. Just for the record, Wonderbread-type loafs do not count as bread.

Real bread has to be bought fresh on a daily basis and includes only yeast, water, flour, and salt as ingredients. If it doesn’t go stale within 24 hours it is not considered bread in France.

French people will travel far and wide to find the best daily baguette. A local tip for anyone coming here to our little valley in Burgundy; we buy our daily baguettes from the little hole-in-the-wall bakery in the nearby village of Comblanchien. Go, buy, taste, and you will discover why this makes total sense.

The first solid food a French baby eats is always a stump of baguette – commonly referred to as a quignon de pain in local patois.

When I was at Villers-la-Faye’s annual Bastille Day village picnic last July with a five month old teething Clem, all of the village grandmothers kept ripping up the baguettes on the picnic tables and shoving quignons in her little hands, insisting it would be just the thing for her gums.

Turns out they were right, although I was too freaked out by the prospect of her choking (my choking paranoia is a whole other story) to give Clem her first quignon until she was close to eleven months.

She is piercing molars now, and gnawing on a quignon really does seem to help.

Clem naturally loves the taste of bread. She refers to it as an “ah-toe” (gateau) which is a high compliment indeed. She calls only her very favorite foods “ah-toes“, although unfortunately this list still includes clumps of dirt off the floor.

Anyway, that pesky dirt issue aside, as you can see from the photo above, Clem’s love affair with good bread has begun.

**Frenchitude Fridays (French + Attitude = Frenchitude) give ideas for injecting a bit of frenchness into your life, whether you live in Cahors or the Carolinas.