French bread facts

In the 19th century, the popular bread in France was short, cylindrical, with a hard core and a golden crust – a precursor of the baguette, which only consolidated its long form in the 20th century.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, the common bread had a soft center and a dark crust, a tropical version of Italian bread. It so happens that when the elite of newly independent Brazil traveled to Paris, they returned describing the bread to their bakers, who did their best to reproduce the recipe as described. From this oral gastronomy came the “Brazilian French bread”, which differs from its source of European inspiration, above all because it could even have sugar and fat in the dough. Just like the Greek style rice and the carioca coffee, the homage is alien to the person being honored. So when you go to France and walk into a Paris bakery and order “un pain français, s’il vous plaît” (“a French bread, please”), you’re going to face some difficulties. Even after a lot of gesticulating, you’ll most likely leave with just a piece of baguette. It turns out that the “pãozinho”, also known as “pão de sal” and “cacetinho”, and which most of Brazil calls “French”, does not exist in France.