Historical story

Where did the baguette come from? Certainly not from France

A symbol almost as popular as the Eiffel Tower and the black beret. The French themselves proudly repeat its history. Apparently, Napoleon's bakers invented it for soldiers - a long and thin meal fits perfectly in a trouser pocket. However, this is only a legend. The truth may not be to the taste of the proud people of Paris ...

There is a hitch in the official story. Military meals should remain fresh and edible for a long time, while a properly baked baguette becomes stale and hard as stone after just a few hours.

Besides, none of the sources mentions soldiers of the Grand Army with a long roll in their pocket . Finally, why would soldiers carry bread in their pockets, and not in their backpacks, as has been the case so far? So where did the culinary symbol of France come from?

How was it really…

Merits can be attributed to the Austrian inventors of a special furnace, which reached a temperature of 205 ° C. The heated steam caused the bread crust to expand longer, and the interior, due to the higher air content, made it fluffy and light.

The "Austrian roll", as the delicacy was called, was brought to Paris in 1815. Napoleon was already on the island of St. Helena, and Habsburg soldiers patrolled the streets of the French capital. And it was the Austrians who were the first to eat oblong rolls in the streets of Paris.

The crispy delicacy did not seem to be a suitable staple for long war journeys (author:Nicola, license:CC BY 2.0).

Bread and the First World War

This is not the end. All France did not start to eat Austrian rolls overnight. The tradition of the morning crispy baguette on the Champs Elysees is relatively young and dates back to the 1920s. Probably long rolls would never have gained popularity had it not been for the outbreak of World War I.

Huge losses in people also affected many bakery guilds, which meant that people with less culinary skills began to be employed. The simplest and quickest to prepare long bread took French streets by storm , with the quite accidental support of the French government.

By government decision - baguette on every table!

In 1920, a decree was issued that allowed bakeries to start working at four in the morning at the earliest. In this situation, baguettes became the only bread that could be ready for breakfast.

It is in this city that the crunchy symbol of France was actually created. Pictured:Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna (author:Thomas Wolf, license:CC BY-SA 3.0 de).

French boulangeries they very quickly saw a vein of gold in this funny bun. The customer was only interested in fresh and crispy baguette de tradition one that was baked less than an hour ago.

The consumer who wants really fresh bread throws away the "old" bread and goes back to the bakery for a new baguette. Fluffy, crunchy and with a golden crust. So exactly as it was invented in Vienna ...


  1. Stephen Clarke, 1000 years of pissing off the French , Warsaw 2010
  2. Maquelonne Toussaint- Samat, The Natural and Moral History of Food , Warsaw 2015
  3. Armand Husson, Consommations de Paris , Paris 1875