The French Baguette Gets UNESCO Heritage Status

Fresh French baguettes for sale in a window in Paris, France                                            Shutterstock
Fresh French baguettes for sale in a window in Paris, France Shutterstock

If you have been to Paris, you would know the special place the French baguette holds in the lives of people there. In a French restaurant, it&rsquos only viable you have been served the baguette as a side, or perhaps it was complimentary. 

These freshly baked long and crusty breads are a common sight in bakery and cafe windows. Now UNESCO has given the bread a special protected status by adding it to its "intangible cultural heritage" list.

Inscribing it in&nbspthe Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the body has said that it is adding the "artisanal know-how and culture of baguette bread" to the list which has so far got 600 other items. Among the new things on the list are China's traditional tea making. The inclusion of the baguette "celebrates the French way of life", said Unesco chief Audrey Asoulay. "The baguette is a daily ritual, a structuring element of the meal, synonymous with sharing and conviviality. It is important that these skills and social habits continue to exist in the future."

Translating to 'baton' from the word, 'bacchetta', this French bread is very special and unique. The creation requires&nbspgood flour, the right kind of kneading and, as the bakers like to say, a certain savoir-faire. 

The fight to include the baguette in the intagible heritage list has been going on for a while.&nbspThe bakers in France were fighting tooth and nail for the listing. There was some urgency involved because local shops and bakeries in France are being taken over by frozen breadsticks mass produced in factory-like assembly lines. The Confederation of French Bakers had submitted an application to add the baguette under UN&rsquos list of 'intangible heritage' items.&nbspThe Cultural Minister of France had also offered to help in achieving this goal.

The inclusion in the list will protect the baguette from being duplicated and erased from the minds of the people which has been a tradition passed down from generation to generation. 

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