Few food items have the totemic significance of the baguette, embodying much that we love about France, its mother country. It’s origins are unclear but were driven by Viennese innovations in the 19 century (e.g. The steam injected oven). The name for the long cylindrical loaf shows up definitively in the 1920s for the Department of the Seine:m “The baguette, having a minimum weight of 80 g [2 3⁄4 oz] and a maximum length of 40 cm [16 in], may not be sold for a price higher than 0.35 francs apiece” The high surface area to volume ratio means that the loaf does not stay fresh for more than a few hours. I find baguettes purchased in France, frankly, somewhat bland, which I think is due to strict pricing and content regulation.