Look, the French know how to make a great baguette, right? There isn’t a lot of dispute there. No one is regularly saying, “Eh, I don’t think the French have really proven their baguette-making skills just yet.”

But hold on. Can the French make a big baguette? An enormously long baguette that could feed a small town?

Yes. It turns out they can do that, too.

French bakers in Suresnes, just west of Paris, made a 461-foot baguette on Sunday. The massive loaf successfully returned the title of world’s longest baguette to France, according to Guinness World Records, as it exceeded a 435-foot baguette made by (gasp) Italians in 2019.

That’s longer than a football field. Wait. Stop. We’re in France. It’s the length of nine pétanque courts!

Before you accuse the bakers of making an absurdly thin baguette to game the system, let it be known that record-setting baguettes must be about two inches thick.

A team of 18 shaped the dough, which used 200 pounds of flour, beginning at 3 a.m., and at about 5 a.m. they started slowly feeding it into an oven. It emerged bit by bit on the other side, fully baked.

It was a big moment in Suresnes. Town leaders sent forth a blizzard of social media messages before and after the baking.

“Bravo aux boulangers,” the town declared. (“Well done to the bakers.”)

“Suresnes is proud to have been the scene of this record for the longest baguette in the world, which promotes a national symbol of our gastronomy as well as the artisans who perpetuate its know-how,” Guillaume Boudy, the mayor, told the town’s website.

Dominique Anract, president of the National Confederation of French Bakery and Pastry, kindly gave a little nod to an event coming to the region this summer that probably won’t get quite as much attention as the baguette feat:

“In this Olympic year, congratulations to all our artisan bakers,” he said, adding: “Our baguette is an essential part of the gastronomic heritage.”

Once baked, the baguette was passed out to members of the public, including homeless people. But only after being spread with Nutella, of course.

So the baguette was big. But that didn’t make it a succès d’estime. For that, we’d have to turn to the annual Grand Prix de la Baguette.

For the last 30 years in this event, baguettes have been rigorously judged on taste, texture and numerous other factors. The judges include bakers, politicians, ordinary citizens and journalists (sadly, not this one).

This year’s winner, among 173 contestants competing in April, was Xavier Netry of Boulangerie Utopie in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.

Moreover, it is the French baguette — not Italian, not American, not Burkinabe, not Monégasque — that in 2022 joined the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, along with the likes of Ukrainian borscht, Korean kimchi and Haitian soup joumou.

Even if some other upstart nationality makes a 500-foot baguette tomorrow, France will remain numéro un.

#Worlds #Longest #Baguette #Baked #France

By David

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