The first mistake pretty much everyone makes in a good boulangerie is to walk in and simply say “baguette”, or even baguette please. Even the French make this mistake and it’s a bad one if you really like what you eat.
The person who knows the breads best is the best person to advise you on the bread you want for anything from a sandwich to something to go with an aperitif. They will also know which bread is freshly baked and which has been sitting there since this morning, so it’s always worth asking for a recommendation.
Let’s start with that baguette – the word baguette in French simply means long and thin. A conductor holds a baguette, a policeman might hit you with a baguette, it is not a type of bread, it is a style of shape of bread and often there is more than one type on offer.
If you just say baguette what you will get is the bog standard probably not much different from the local supermarket mass produced bread that you buy in the UK. You don’t want that, I promise you.
Starting at the bottom of the heap is The basic two are the Ficel, meaning string, which is very thin and has almost no bread inside it’s hard crust.