According to Emmanuel Macron, the baguette should have World Heritage status as it “is envied in the whole world”.
In a media interview, the French president said the baguette is part of “the daily life of the French, in the morning, at midday and in the evening. It's not a matter of beliefs; everyone has it.”
INBP president Dominique Anract is calling on the UN agency to protect the quality of the traditional baguette against “the increasing weight of big supermarkets and convenience stores in the retail of bread.”
Anract said the increased competition faced by traditional bakeries endangers the preservation of the bakers’ expertise and skills.
In 1993, the ‘baguette de tradition’ was set, ruling that the traditional French baguette could only be made using only four ingredients: flour, yeast, salt and water.
“Today, there are 33,000 artisan bakeries, employing 180,000 people, who serve bread all over France. This territorial network is unique throughout the world, we must not lose it,” said Anract.
The elusive list
Since 2008, the United Nation’s cultural body updates its list of ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’, recognized as a repository of cultural diversity and creative expression.
The list mostly comprises crafts or traditional practices such as yoga, falconry or tango dancing, but also includes food and beverages, such as Belgian’s beer culture and Korea’s kimchi, as well as the Gastronomic Meal of the French (included in 2010).
Last year – after almost a decade of petitioning – Naples’ pizza-making techniques finally made the list, which has obviously spurred a similar desire for heritage status by France for its baguette.
“I know our bakers. They saw the Neapolitans succeed in getting their pizza classified under UNESCO world heritage and they said ‘Why not the baguette?’ And they’re right,” said Macron.