The baguette appeared in the middle of the 19th century and it has become an iconic French bread. But have you ever questioned a Parisian about its origin? The many storytelling versions might surprise you. The most common story claims that Napoleon Bonaparte asked French bakers to invent a bread that can fit into the pockets on his soldiers ‘uniform. Another surmise suggests the baguette was first developed in Vienna. But the crunchiest story tells how the construction of Paris metro was involved in the baguette’s invention. French engineer Fulgence Bienvenüe (known as “the Father of Paris Métro”) would have asked local bakers to produce a bread that can be ripped with hands (rather than cut with a knife,) in order to avoid regular knife fights between workmen. Indeed, at that time, workmen had to bring a knife to cut their loaf of bread. Nowadays, this story remains the most supported. Note that every year, the City of Paris organizes the “Grand Prix de la Baguette”. If you wish to know who the 2018 winner is, click on "Learn more" (information only available in French)
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