It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, wait… it’s a cloth trash can thingy that’s in the kitchen? WTF is that??
Sticking with the weird theme this week (in case you missed it Monday, find out what the French find weird about Americans), I’ll fill you in on what’s pictured above in installment #3 of New House WTF (Welcome to France).
In case you’re new around these parts, this is a little series called New House WTF, where I share pics of things that definitely stood out to me as an American who recently bought a house in France. (Part #1 and #2)
So back to the task at hand, what is this thing? It appears to be canvas and is a loose garbage bag-like sack that is really common in French kitchens. Of course I now know what it is — it’s a baguette/bread bag that’s specifically for storing bread called a sac à pain (or huche à pain if it’s more like a bin), but I wasn’t always so enlightened on all things French. I embarrassed (and still do quite often actually!) myself like a pro a few years back.
Let’s go back a few years to when I was visiting a friend’s home in Brittany over the summer. One morning I had just finished using the bathroom and because there was no trash can up there, I brought down my used tissues and Q-tips to the kitchen where I had seen a prominently displayed trash can (or so I thought) earlier in the corner of the room. I nonchalantly tossed in my trash from upstairs and thought nothing of the fact that there were a few pieces of bread in there. Made sense, it’s a trash can after all, so pieces of bread in there didn’t jump out as being strange.
Flash forward about 20 minutes to when the friend’s family came down and was moving around the kitchen making breakfast.
To my horror, my friend’s dad went to take out some bread from the “trash can” I had dumped my trash in earlier and exclaimed, “Who put this trash in the bread bag??” while dangling my tissues in the air with pursed lips and a reddening face.
Oh god, I sheepishly fessed up and explained totally red-faced that I thought it was the garbage! In my defense, their bread bag was actually inside a metal container that looked exactly like a trash can (not an integrated type that pulls out like mine pictured above, but more like this) and appeared to be a garbage can from my American point of view. I told him we don’t have bread bags in America and it was an honest error. I think he forgave me?
Also, sometimes these bread bags are just hung on the back of a door or in a closet as well and don’t always resemble trash cans.
So friends, when in France, be aware that these bread bags do exist in kitchens and do NOT, under any circumstance, confuse them with the trash can!