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Breaking bread: French bakers take back their title for longest baguette, dethroning Italy

Breaking bread: French bakers take back their title for longest baguette, dethroning Italy
France has taken back the record for longest baguette, beating Italy's standing record with a loaf measuring 140.53 metres.   -  
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Five years ago, the unthinkable happened – France lost its title for longest baguette in the world. To Italy, no less.

On Sunday, that tragedy was remedied, as bakers in Suresnes, a suburb northwest of Paris, reclaimed their birthright with a baguette worth writing home about.

The baguette, measuring 140.53 metres, was registered in the Guinness World Records as the new record-holder for longest loaf. It was prepared in front of an audience at the Suresnes Baguette Show, an event organised by the National Confederation of French Boulangerie-Pâtisserie and Nutella.

It’s unclear whether Nutella – which was founded in Piedmont, Italy – was invited for French bragging purposes, or because the chocolate spread is a favourite topping for baguettes in France.

A baking marathon

Making the world’s longest baguette is no laughing matter. The team of 18 boulangers from the Île-de-France region, which includes Paris, began preparing the dough at 3 am. They had to roll it out, score it and keep it moist in a process lasting two hours.

Ahead of the event, organisers said the loaf “will be made according to the rules of the art, with wheat flour, water, yeast and salt as the only ingredients.” It also had to be at least 5 centimetres thick throughout its absurd length.

Once the dough was ready, the team took turns keeping an eye on the bread for hours while it baked in a portable oven built especially for the occasion. 

“A record for the longest artisanal baguette requires real team spirit, during this Olympic year,” said Dominique Anract, President of the National Confederation of French Boulangerie-Pâtisserie. “Bread is an engine of performance, our baguette is an inextricable part of our gastronomic heritage.”

Throughout the day, members of the public stopped by the Terrasse du Fécheray to check in on the baking process and participate in workshops about breadmaking.

It wasn’t until 4:40 pm that the bread was out of the oven, cooled and measured, and the new record was celebrated. A patriotic moment made even Frencher by the fact that the patio offered a sweeping view of the Eiffel Tower.

The French baguette beat the standing record by almost 8 metres – the previous record, held by a group of bakers in Como, Italy, measured 132.62 metres.

In a statement, the city of Suresnes said the feat paid homage to France’s “artisanal savoir-faire and culture of baguettes and bread”, which were registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in 2022.

What happened to the longest baguette in the world once it took home the title, you ask? Naturally, it was cut into pieces and slathered in Nutella – the “tartines” were shared with the public.

Another part of the baguette was given to a local charity that distributed it to homeless people in the area on Sunday night.

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