The baguette makes its entry into the Unesco Heritage. The iconic French loaf, the one carried under the arm by cousins from across the Alps, acquires the special protection of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Its inclusion”celebrates the French way of life“, he said Audrey Asoulay, director general of the institution. “The baguette is a daily rituala basic element of the meal, synonymous with sharing and conviviality“, he added.
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The baguette in the Unesco Heritage
In reality, more than the baguette understood as an elongated loaf, to enter the “Intangible cultural heritage” of Unesco are craft skills and culture which revolves around the famous loaf. In fact, the UN organization does not so much protect the products, but above all values the traditions to be safeguarded. In 2021, for example, it was the turn of the truffle extraction, a goal celebrated by Italy.
“It is a recognition for the community of artisan bakers and pastry chefs” of France, commented in a press release Dominique Anract, president of the French trade confederation , recalling all the simplicity of the baguette, which ultimately “it is flour, water, salt, yeast and savoir-faire“. It is estimated that they are produced every day in the country 16 million loaves.
A bit of history
The baguette had to elbow with other competitors to earn its candidacy for Unesco. His selection dates back to 2021when the French authorities preferred it to the zinc roofs of Paris and an ancient wine festival in the Jura department of the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region.
There are not many certainties about the origins of the most famous loaf in the world. One version says that its production was ordered by Napoleon as a format easy for soldiers to carry. According to others, it appeared much later to allow the workers of Paris to have a loaf to break and share without the need for a knife. Indeed, the shape of the baguette may not have been invented by a Frenchman, but by an Austrian baker in the 1830s.
A young name
Whatever its birthplace, it has been a relatively short time since the world has known this product as “baguette”. Indeed, the loaf was officially christened this way just a century agoin 1920. Since then, its production has been gradually regulated in an increasingly strict manner in order to establish what type of bread could be called in this way: only if the loaf measures 80 centimeters and weighs 250 grams can be called baguette. Another curiosity of the story concerns him the retail price, which remained fixed until 1986.
The baguette today
Like almost all traditional products, even the baguette has to fight for today resist market pressures and changes in people’s food consumption. The industrialization of the bread sector and the decline in the number of bakers, especially in rural municipalities, have in fact led to a decline in its production. In 1970, there were about 55,000 in the country bakery artisanal (bakeries) (one every 790 inhabitants) against 35,000 today (one every 2,000 inhabitants). In France now it is hoped that entry into the Unesco heritage reroll this symbol.