Tag Archives: Bread

Baguette

20 Oct

It was the baguette that did it.

I shuffled into the supermarket, thoughts on dinner. What shall I cook? I didn’t take my card – will I have enough change? Shall I have a small snack before dinner? Will he be back late?

I wandered through the supermarket in a daze. The day had brought with it pleasant events and positive emotions. Yet my hunger and my fatigue were overpowering all the happiness, surprise, joy, excitement, gratitude and comfort that I had felt in the preceding few hours. These magical feelings were slowly evaporating, giving in to the crushing pressure of anxiety.

I walked through the shop isles once, twice, three times. Something was missing from my chosen groceries, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. No, not jam. No, not vegetables. No, not wine. During the fourth circle around the shop, I gravitated unexpectedly towards the bread shelves.

I don’t eat a lot of bread, but I could tell that this was what my body was asking for. The choice was far from appealing: the brown loaf was dry, the white loaf was too big and the packaged bread looked like plastic.

The only other option was a baguette. I’m not a fan of baguettes. Yes, I know, it’s a crime to say this while living in France, but baguettes are just extremely awkward. They don’t fit into a plastic carrier bag, so you have to hold them under your arm or in your hand. They’re too narrow to cut into sandwich slices and too thick to toast. They are mostly made with white bread, whereas I prefer brown. They have too much crust and not enough filling. You can cut your gums if the crust is too crunchy. They dry up within a day and, seeing as they’re too long to fit into the bin, you have to take them down to the garbage individually. Too much fuss for a piece of bread, in my opinion.

But, seeing as the other loaves were unappealing, I reached out to check if at least the baguettes were fresh.

And that was it.

With my hand on the baguette, I froze. A goofy smile spread over my face and I think my jaw dropped, uttering a mild “Aw” mixed with a sigh.

My cold hands were grasping the hottest, freshest baguette that I had ever touched. The bag in which it was packaged had steamed up from the heat. The baguette was so soft that it could have been dough. I picked it up and brought it against my face. I stuck my nose into the bag. I clutched it with both hands, squeezing it slightly, to reassure myself that yes, it had just come out of the oven.

Anxiety and stress evaporated. I was once again filled with happiness, surprise, joy, excitement, gratitude and comfort. I couldn’t believe my luck: this was the first time in nine months that I had picked up a feshly-baked baguette. Boulangeries may be open on every street, but they do not bake bread every hour.

I carried the baguette home like a trophy, hugging against myself so that no-one could take it away. At home, I bit right into it, hoping that it would melt in my mouth…and it did. I spread butter on slice after slice, while sipping mint tea with honey on the side.

Warm baguette – you made my day.