Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Bastard Baguette

"Batard" is the French word for the English "bastard". In both languages, these words refer to illegitimacy, or what Dictionary.com states as "something of irregular, inferior, or dubious origin."

Batard, in bread circles, refers to an inferior baguette, typically half the length and many times the width of a classic baguette. (Traditional baguettes are about 2 inches in diameter and anywhere from 15 to 40 inches in length.) The long slender shape of a baguette maximizes the crus-to-bread ratio, but requires more time and labor to achieve than its squat batard cousin. (The batard pictured is linked to a Wheat Batard recipe.)

There's one thing a batard can do better than a baguette though; its fat shape and doughy consistency make it ideal for sandwiches.

It's the end of our date, that awkward moment where we kiss good-bye and I hope it's not really good-bye.

"Would you like to come upstairs and make sandwiches?" Lucy asks me.

"Oh yes. Yes, I would."

"I have many varieties of meats and cheeses," she whispers. I lick my lips.

We walk up three flights to her apartment and I'm getting hungrier with each step. She unlocks the door and before we even reach the kitchen, I'm rolling up my sleeves.

She opens the fridge. I grab a knife. We slice some Genoa salami, very, very thin. We slice turkey. We slice turkey ham. We slice turkey balogna. Slice, slice, slice. She pulls out some muenster, some Swiss. We're slapping slices on bread. We're squirting mayo, squeezing ketchup, splashing mustard. Spreading everything evenly. We're pushing our top breads onto our bottom breads. We've made great, big Dagwoods. I give her the knife and she slices her sandwich diagonally. Then mine, likewise. And then we raise our sandwiches and, at the same moment, we each take a hearty bite, as much as our mouths can handle.

"Mmmmmm," she mumbles through a stuffed mouth. "This is delicious."

"Mmmm," I say. "Mine too."

- Josh Abraham, Yankee Pot Roast
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3 comments:

22loy said...

All this time I thought that a baguette was a harder bread.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Just want to say thank you for this interesting article! =) Peace, Joy.

Bill Baerg said...

How very cool!