France is world famous for its delicious baking. If you love bread, you can find a bakery or, as the French call it, a boulangerie, on almost every street corner. The smell of fresh-baked bread alone can tempt you into the boulangerie and when you’re inside, you are met with the sight of many doughy treats. What should you pick first? Well, here’s a list to help you out.
Let’s start with the classic. It is a bit of a cliché to think of a French person and imagine them with a baguette under their arm. But, in fact, French people eat 25 million baguettes every day! Crunchy crust and soft inside, the baguette is perfect with creamy butter or tangy cheese.
Bread isn’t the only thing a boulangerie has to offer. The croissant is the famous half-moon French breakfast treat. If you’re lucky, you may be able to buy a croissant still warm from the oven! The best way to eat it is with butter, jam or honey. Some people like it plain and lots of children dip it into chocolate milk. Mmmmm!
3. Pain au raisin
Maybe you like your baked goodies filled with fruit? Though there are many to choose from with apples, cherries and apricots, perhaps the most common is the pain au raisin. It is in a swirl shape and topped with raisins. The pastry is the same as the croissant, but the raisins give it that extra burst of taste.
4. La Suisse
This one is my favourite. The pastry is filled with crème pâtissière, which is a thick yellow custard. It is dotted with chocolate chips and then twisted. Sometimes dusted with a little sugar, it is the definitive sweet-tooth treat. Not much more expensive than a croissant, it’s great if you want pastry and chocolate with the extra bonus of creamy custard.
5. Pain au chocolat
The list would not be authentic without the good old pain au chocolat. With two lines of dark chocolate running through it, you are sure to taste chocolate with every bite! It is the perfect snack and a must-try if you visit France. Sometimes you can buy a fancier version which can be covered with almonds, sugar or icing. In fact, I’ve made myself hungry writing this; I’m off to buy one right now!
Do you like going to the bakery? What special baked treats are there in your region or country?