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According to Maeve O'Meara and Guillaume Brahimi, in their fabulous book, French Food Safari, in France, people's lives are punctuated by their visits to the boulangerie - the bakery.

Children grow up with the responsibility of buying the family bread, while for some elderley people their visit to the bakery is a social event that brightens their day.

Here are some of France's classic breads:

Baguette: A long thin, white loaf with a golden crust. It is raised with commerical yeast and has an open crum and large holes. This light style of bread is best eaten the day it is bought.

Ficelle: Using the same ingredients and methods as the baguette, but even thinner and sometimes shorter.

Pain de campagne: Translating as "country bread", this is a large round or rectangular bread usually made with a mixture of white flour and wholemeal or rye flour. It can be made with natural leavening or commerical yeast.

Pain au levain: Made with natural leavening, this is rustic and flavoursome sourdough.

Fougasse: Typically associated with Provence, this flatbread is France's version of the focaccia. The dough is often slashed so it looks like an ear of wheat, and is usually dotted with ingredients such as olives or cheese.

Pain du noix: Studded with one of France's favourite ingredients - walnuts - this bread is delicious with cheese.

"Long comme un jour sans pain." (As long as a day without bread.)


Would you love your own French bread basket, made in Provence? See our full range of French bread baskets here.