The French baguette in pop culture

Discover how the French baguette has solidified its place in the history of French gastronomy, as well as in present day pop culture!  

French baguette photo

It’s simply impossible to imagine the French lifestyle without picturing a Frenchman leaving his local “boulangerie” (bakery) with a baguette tucked under his arm. After all, this savoury bread, with its quintessential crispy crust and chewy centre, has become a symbol of France and a staple of the French diet.  


The French famously love bread of all types, but the baguette holds a special place in hearts and on the table: whether it’s toasted with butter and jam at breakfast or sliced and served in a basket at dinner, this culinary staple is typically served with every meal. In fact, France’s “Bread Observatory” estimates that roughly 320 baguettes are consumed per second! That’s an average of half a baguette per person per day, and around 10 billion baguettes per year.  


The baguette’s history in France 

Now that we’ve explored how much the French love to eat the baguette, let’s learn a little about its cultural significance. While no one is certain who invented the baguette, it’s generally thought to be Austrian baker August Zang, the same man who invented the croissant (talk about a genius!). His introduction of the first steam oven in Paris made it possible to bake loaves with a light-yet-chewy bite and a thick crust.  

Later, in 1993, the French government passed the “Bread Decree”, which places strict regulations on how bread is made, including restriction of the use of premade doughs for making traditional baguettes. Then, in 2022, UNESCO granted the beloved baguette “intangible cultural heritage” status.  

Through the years, the baguette has become an emblem of French taste and an inspiration for artists, leading it to show up in some unlikely places in pop culture.  


The French baguette in pop culture  

Japanese baker and artist Yukiko Morita has become well-known in the art and design world for her Pampshades: unique and whimsical lamps made using real leftover bread (particularly croissants and baguettes), which are hollowed out and preserved, before being fitted with LED lights.  

In the fashion world, tableware and lifestyle brand Gohar World have elevated the humble baguette bag by creating highly embellished and hand stitched satin versions, which are handmade by the brand founders’ own grandmother.  

Speaking of baguette bags, did you know that Fendi’s iconic “Baguette” purse was directly inspired by the way Parisian women carry baguettes under their arms?  

And what food lover could forget the baguette’s iconic scene in Pixar’s Ratatouille, when two French chefs discuss how to tell good bread not by looking at it, but by listening to the crackling symphony of its crust! That’s certainly music to our ears!  


A taste of the French baguette 

Of course, we must remember that above all, the baguette is made to be eaten. First, to find the best baguette, look for a “tradition”, which is made the old-fashioned way and with better ingredients. It should have a golden brown crust, which you should be able to hear crackle when you gently squeeze it.  

As for ideas on eating it, a pulled pork sandwich or a French-style cheese and charcuterie board are some of our favourite ways to elevate the simple yet pleasing and absolutely essential baguette. 

It’s a recipe that is often copied around the world but rarely ever with as much technique and flavour as the authentic baguette straight from France.  

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