The baking news sent France into a frenzy of memes — and members of France’s UNESCO delegation celebrated by hoisting baguettes into the air as the decision was announced in Morocco’s Rabat.
The baguette – which French President Emmanuel Macron once described as “250 grams of magic and perfection” – is an integral part of French culture and culinary delights. habits, with many French people stopping by bakeries daily to get a warm loaf of bread before heading home for dinner.
The French bakery industry has campaigned for years to secure this status on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak said the decision is a “great recognition for our artisans and these unifying places that are our bakeries”.
Matin, midi et soir, la baguette de pain fait partie du quotidien des Français. Ce savoir-faire artisanal vient d’être inscrit au patrimoine immatériel de l’humanité par l’UNESCO. Belle reconnaissance pour nos artisans et ces lieux fédérateurs que sont nos bakers! pic.twitter.com/dkAGPD5PiR
— Rima Abdul Malak (@RimaAbdulMalak) November 30, 2022
Olivia Gregoire, Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Commerce and Tourism, celebrated the decision as a milestone for France and its bakery industry. It honors “French savoir-vivre”, “our traditions of sharing and conviviality and, above all, the know-how of our artisan bakers,” she said. said.
According to the French newspaper Le Monde, French bakeries produce about 6 billion baguettes a year. But across the country, particularly in rural areas, bakeries have been disappearing at a rate of about 400 a year in recent decades, prompting warnings from the industry that more needs to be done to protect the baguette’s know-how. .
“The baguette consists of very few ingredients – flour, water, salt, yeast – and yet each baguette is unique, and the essential ingredient each time is the baker’s skill,” said Dominique Anract, president of the National Confederation of French Bakeries and Patisserie. after the decision.
In August, a baguette in Paris can be as much as 20 minutes away
The French celebrated the decision and their love of French bread.
Claire Dinhut, 26, a French-American food and travel creator, said by email: “The baguette is SO a staple of French identity, so it makes me very happy to discover that it has been added to the World Heritage List.”
“Outside of France I rarely eat baguettes, because eating a baguette without the French ‘ritual’ of walking to your local (and favorite) bakery is just eating bread. Eating a baguette is SO much more than that,” says Dinhut, who lives in London. “Nothing compares to the first rip off of a fresh baguette. It’s perfect on its own, with a greasy slice of salted butter, sweet jam, a big piece of cheese… The list goes on.”
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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 transmitted through them” from one generation to the next.
In this case, the nomination drafted 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 purchase the loaves and specific display racks to match their long shape.”
“The baguette is consumed in many contexts, including at family meals, in restaurants and in work and school canteens,” it added.