Guide to the Boulangerie

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A trip to France is not complete without a trip to the bakery, or “la boulangerie”. Tasting the bread in France is a cultural experience, and ringing in at around only 1 euro per loaf, what’s not to love? Let’s take a look at common types of bread that you can order, and some useful vocabulary to help you navigate your next boulangerie adventure.

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Basic Bakery Translations


Types of Bread


When in doubt, order the baguette tradition. This is the classic bread that you imagine tucked under your arm as you wander the streets of Paris. According to French law, a tradition must be made using strictly flour, yeast, and salt.


Want something that won’t go stale as quickly? The pain de campagne is a French variation of sourdough, and is known for having a bit of a longer shelf life. It is typically made from whole wheat or rye flour.


This is the equivalent of whole wheat bread. It is made with wholemeal flour and baked with various seeds (sesame, poppy, flax, etc.).


Brioche is my personal guilty pleasure.This sweet bread is fluffy and soft, and tastes delicious due to the amount of butter baked into it. It is often considered a breakfast bread that can be eaten with a jam or spread.

Susan Zhang is a CEA Alumni Ambassador that studied Marketing and French at Marist College and studied abroad in Paris with CEA in Fall 2015.

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