The “artisanal know-how and culture of baguette bread” has recently made history after being inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the end of last month. The move is intended to enshrine the French tradition of baguette baking, which stretches back over 100 years.
Although it only uses a simple set of four ingredients (flour, water, salt, and Leaven or yeast), there are many different ways to made a baguette, and each baker will often create something unique.
The status of the French baguette has been up in the air for some time, with French President Emmanuel Macron calling for it to be added to the UN’s list back in 2018.
“The baguette is envied around the world. We must preserve its excellence and our expertise, and it is for this reason that it should be heritage listed,” President Macron said to representatives of the national confederation of baking and pastry at the Élysée presidential palace in Paris.
Well, at long last, that day has come. The Paris-based UN heritage body voted on 30 November to heritage list the French baguette, which is widely regarded as a symbol of French cuisine around the world.
In an online statement, UNESCO said, “Baguettes require specific knowledge and techniques.”
The statement continued, “They also generate modes of consumption and social practices that differentiate them from other types of bread.”
UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said, “The baguette is a daily ritual, a structuring element of the meal, synonymous with sharing and conviviality.”
She continued, “It is important that these skills and social habits continue to exist in the future.”
Audrey said that the addition of the baguette to the list celebrated the French way of life.