An a country that can talk for hours about bread, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can rate your local bakery on a dedicated website, allobaguette.
It’s a given that a baguette is croustillant here in France. If there’s no crunch when you bite into it, it’s simply not a baguette (and I have the scars to prove it). But there’s so much more to French bread.
Baguette quality is influenced by ingredients, cooking temperature, loaf size and the cutting technique for those crusty ridges. But the broader spectrum of bakery goods is also an excellent topic for discussion in France, especially inside bakeries, where customers seem intent on discovering exactly what type of flour is used in a Campagnarde or just how many people that brioche will feed for breakfast. So it makes sense that allobaguette exists. Rate baguettes, loaves, snacks or anything else on offer at your local bakery.
The website made French TV news this week as it now offers an online ordering service. Yep, you can order your baguettes online! You will still need to go to the bakery to pick up your bread, so you’re really only saving payment time (which you’ve already lost in logging into the website). The lady on TV seemed very happy to be able to walk into her local bakery and be handed her baguettes. She made it look so simple.
I decided to try ordering online, but I soon hit a hurdle. I couldn’t find any bakeries in my area that had registered with the site (although they were all listed). I did find a registered bakery in Dunkurque!
I couldn’t find anything about ordering online at that bakery, so I decided to register with the site in case it helped. Far from straightforward, the site first told me I had previously registered, then it couldn’t find my details. Eventually, I registered, but finding a bakery that takes online payments remained a mystery: logging in made no difference.
At least the lady on TV is enjoying her online bakery payments, but it looks like I’ll be handing over my cash in person for now — and tuning in to the flour discussions of the customers in front. C’est la vie français, non?