Last year the Neapolitan method for twirling pizza was added to UNESCO’s list of the world’s cultural treasures, and now France wants the same recognition for its famed baguettes. French President Emmanuel Macron has announced his support of the petition, and said French baguettes were “envied around the world.”
The UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list is designed to safeguard cultural heritage and raise awareness of its importance. Japan’s washoku cuisine has UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status, as does Belgian beer culture. Spain is seeking the same status for tapas, and now France wants to see the baguette recognized the same way.
According to the BBC, the French national bakers’ association has launched the petition to have the baguette recognized as a cultural treasure. They say such recognition will help protect the baguette from globalisation by preserving the name, shape, recipe, ingredients, and baking technique of a traditional baguette.
“The baguette is envied around the world,” Macron said in support of the association’s petition. “We must preserve its excellence and our expertise, and it is for this reason it should be heritage-listed.”
French law has protected the traditional baguette since a 1993 law decreed it could only be made from four ingredients: wheat flour, water, yeast, and salt, and that it can never be frozen or contain added preservatives. But France’s bakers say UNESCO status would do even more to help preserve the traditional way of making baguettes, which are truly delicious, and one of the 14 essential French foods everyone should know.