Public holidays don’t come much sillier than Administrative Professionals Day, Boss’s Day or Senior Citizens Day – all of which make today’s National French Bread Day seem positively sensible.
The internet is full of stories about the day, but what isn’t clear is in which country this ‘national’ day is taking place. I can only assume it’s the US. After all, France isn’t going to call it National French Bread Day. There, all bread is French, so including the word ‘French’ in the title is superfluous.
Plus, there is already a week-long celebration of bread planned in France for May. Oh yes.
In Britain, as in the US, we tend not to recognise the various different types of French bread. A baguette is a baguette is a baguette.
Not so in France, however. In addition to a baguette, there’s a pain (which is broader), a bâtard (as its name suggests, a cross between a baguette and a pain), a ficelle (a thin stick-like loaf), a flute… and that’s all before you reach the fuller, rounder breads.
Here, though, a baguette will remain for many a French stick.
Which reminds me of a story a friend told me. She once explained to a French male colleague quite how much she liked a warm French stick first thing of a morning. From the look on his face, it didn’t take her long to realise that they were talking at cross purposes.
Now, I wonder if that has a day named after it…