Bread at the Table

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Bread is at the heart

of French gastronomy


 

How can you have a good meal accompanied by bad bread?


“Just like salt and pepper, the baguette should be on the table during the entire meal,” Philippe Viron declares in his book Vive la baguette, published by l’Épi Gourmand in 1995.

The whole art of the cook lies in finding the bread that goes with each dish and choosing it with the same care that goes into choosing a wine.


For a good baguette does not alter the taste of any food, as long as it is of high quality.


On the contrary, a bite of breads suddenly awakens all our taste buds. And a well-chosen bread can enhance the taste of a dish.

It is also important to know that the flavor of bread varies according to the thickness of the slices. Its aromas are better preserved and developed in thick slices. That is why we advise you to cut baguettes in slices about 3 inches long when you are putting them in a breadbasket in the middle of the table, but to make pieces closer to 5 inches long when you are placing them on individual bread plates, set to the left of the dinner plate.

 

 

A baguette can be easily transformed

to accompany various dishes.



It can be sliced lengthwise into tartines (if you hold the knife sideways, you can make slices 7 or 8 inches long to use for sandwiches or for mouillettes (bread fingers to eat with boiled eggs); you can also toast the slices and cut them up as croutons to go with soup.

Baguettes go well with all sorts of garnishes: butter, cheese, jam, pâté, sausage and other pork products, but also foie gras, smoked salmon, or caviar, whose full flavors will be released by the baguette.

Another aspect of the baguette is its usefulness in cooking. Leaving behind its role as accompaniment, it becomes the main ingredient in many recipes, for example in French toast, bread soup, bread pudding—all inexpensive recipes, considering the pleasure they can offer!