French baguette added to UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list

By | November 30, 2022

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Lovers of France’s iconic long loaf: Rejoice! The baguette has now gained special recognition from the United Nations as an integral part of the cultural heritage of humanity.

That is, the culture and craftsmanship of making and consuming baguettes were aggregated by UNESCO, the United Nations agency for culture, to a list that offers not only international recognition, but the option to apply for funding to preserve this “intangible” heritage for future generations.

News of the baking sent France into a meme frenzy – and members of the French UNESCO delegation celebrated by raising baguettes in the air when the decision was announced in Rabat, Morocco.

The baguette – which French President Emmanuel Macron once described as “250 grams of magic and perfection” – is an integral part of French culture and cuisine. habits, with many French people stopping daily at bakeries to grab a warm loaf of bread before heading home for dinner.

France’s baking industry has spearheaded a years-long campaign to secure this status on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

France’s culture minister, Rima Abdul Malak, said the decision is a “great recognition for our artisans and these unifying places that are our bakeries”.

Olivia Gregoire, minister for small and medium-sized enterprises, trade and tourism, hailed the decision as a milestone for France and its baking industry. It pays homage to the “French savoir-vivre”, “our traditions of sharing and conviviality and, above all, the know-how of our artisanal bakers”, she said🇧🇷

French bakeries produce around 6 billion baguettes a year, according to the French newspaper Le Monde. But across the country, particularly in rural areas, in recent decades, bakeries have disappeared at a rate of about 400 a year, prompting industry warnings that more needs to be done to protect baguette-making know-how. 🇧🇷

“The baguette has few ingredients – flour, water, salt, yeast – and yet each baguette is unique, and the essential ingredient is always the skill of the baker,” said Dominique Anract, president of the French Bakery and Confectionery Confederation. . after the decision.

In August in Paris, a baguette sometimes takes 20 minutes

The French celebrated the decision and their love of the baguette.

Claire Dinhut, 26, French-American food and travel content creator, said via email: “The baguette is SO important to the French identity, so I am delighted to hear it has been added to the world heritage list.”

“I rarely eat baguette outside France because eating a baguette without the French ‘ritual’ of walking to your local (and favorite) bakery is just eating bread. Eating a baguette is MUCH more than that,” said Dinhut, who lives in London. “There is nothing comparable to the first steal of a fresh baguette. It’s perfect on its own, with a fat slice of salted butter, sweet jam, a nice chunk of cheese… The list is endless.”

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UNESCO recognizes traditions, crafts and items as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity because of the “wealth of knowledge and skills that are transmitted” through them “from one generation to the next”.

In this case, the candidacy prepared by France highlighted the fact that baguettes “generate modes of consumption and social practices that differentiate them from other types of bread, such as daily visits to bakeries to buy bread and specific displays to match their long shape .”

“The baguette is consumed in many contexts, including during family meals, in restaurants and in work and school canteens,” he added.

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