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I have to say something about French bread. Because my love affair with Paris and France began with the bread.

Like many people, I tend to watch how much bread I consume, and I never eat white bread anymore. However when I am in Paris, forget about it!

If you are NOT going to eat French bread (or buttery croissants) while in France, I sincerely suggest you just get back on the plane!



French Bakery|La Boulangerie 

Now having said that, I stood outside my first neighbourhood boulangerie in Paris a few time before I had the courage to join the long line of people waiting to order a mouth-watering crusty French baguette like so many Parisians do on a daily basis.  And everyone has their favourite bakery!



How to Order a French Baguette

I know that if I just had said “une baguette s’il vous plaît that they would have understood me and given me the simplest option.

But knowing the French, I figured that the choice was perhaps more nuanced than this.  So I did some research before I ventured in for real.

La baguette is a ubiquitous French staple, but there are, in fact, different kinds depending on the baker, how well the bread has been cooked and what ingredients are in it. For instance, connoisseurs can choose between a baguette that is well done|“bien cuite” and not as well done | “pas trop cuite,” (the difference is in the colour and crunch of the crust).



“La Baguette Tradition” is a Good Choice

No wonder I was nervous, but honestly, I discovered that you don’t need to get into all that.

To make it easy, there are really two simple choices.  There is la baguette classique or la baguette tradition.  The difference between these two are the ingredients. The latter is a little more expensive because it is guaranteed to have only four ingredients, flour, salt, water and yeast, and absolutely no additives.

So finally in I went, joined the line, head held high, and when it was my turn, I crisply said “une tradition s’il vous plait!” And sure enough, the lady turned around, picked a lovely fresh bread stick, still warm from the oven, from one of the shelves, wrapped it in a slice of wax paper, and asked for 1.30 Euro/$1.50 USD/$2.00 CAD.


What Do You Call The Heel of a Baguette?

To seal my success, (it felt so good to feel like I had mastered another French ritual) I ripped off the end of the baguette, known as ‘le croûton’ or ‘le quignon’ and devoured it.

French bread only lasts one day fresh like that so why wait to get home?  It is still one of my greatest pleasures taking that first bite of a fresh baguette.  Bakeries usually bring out the bread first thing in the morning and also in the afternoon as people pick some up on their way home from work.  This is when the bread is the sweetest.

*I credit the baguette as a big reason why I gained 30 pounds the year I lived in France. Well, maybe it was the cheese and wine that went along with it.

Still — looking back, worth every pound!




We have a Winner for the Two Free French Lessons

With Christine Camm of!




Susan McCart from Collingwood, Ontario. 

Congratulations Susan! 



You will be hearing more about our winner in an upcoming blog!

Entries came from across Canada, the US, the UK and as far away as South Africa.

Thank you all!

Stay Tuned for the Next Giveaway Draw!

It is coming very, very soon!



  1. Diana Bishop on March 17, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Sorry for the Typos folks — fixed now! Diana

  2. Shardie Stevenson on March 17, 2019 at 9:22 am

    I remember going to the bakery first thing in the morning when I was in Paris with Diana and trying to order une baguette tradition and instead asked for une baguette normal?! They looked at me strangely so I tried again … simple ? Nope!? So I just pointed in the end!! It was soooo worth it!! Yum !!!?

    • Diana Bishop on March 17, 2019 at 9:28 am

      I remember that day well. We should have written “tradition” on your hand. They might just have been a bit snobby with you anyway!
      But you did it! And it was delicious!

  3. Tamara Thompson on March 18, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Congrats Susan, that is really cool! I can imagine it all Diana Bishop! Truly enjoyable escape your blogging, much-needed! Thank you for giving your readers the eyes about such grand and deep-rooted culture.

    Loved it!

    I feel like your blogs, are just about like the different bread choices and nuances that Paris must have. I can not really choose which one is my top three or even most favourite? If I was to have to choose, I could not! Much like the many choices of bread yumminess and ingredients. I agree with the traditional bread baked ‘is yummy. I have tasted similar, but not truly Paris un baguette traditional (mind the spelling mistakes si vous ples) – from Quebec, CA

    Such a nice blog about these wonderful nuances. I do like that speaking French is a must do while discovering as rich culture such as that. The most thought-provoking blog I will say. Your blogs are in a multitude of ways, cool. I think I will ponder for a while. Thanks for writing this, Magnifique. “Praising? —-oui, truly…well done!”

    • Diana Bishop on March 20, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks Tamara- Yes Suze is excited! And I will a story and Video interview with Suze that Christine Camm (her French teacher) did fro France with her on Sunday’s blog! Always love to hear from you!

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