French baguettes should be Unesco-listed treasures — Macron

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14 Enero, 2018

THE French baguette should be listed as a Unesco cultural treasure, France's President Emmanuel Macron has claimed.

The 40-year-old was speaking in support of a bid by the president of the National Confederation of French Bakers, Dominque Anract, who said the "marvellous" baguette must be protected against "the increasing weight of big supermarkets and convenience stores in the retail of bread".

The French government's efforts to preserve the nation's culinary attraction can be traced back to 1993, when the notion of what makes a traditional baguette was enshrined in the so-called "bread decree".

The Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage meets annually to evaluate nominations and petitions sent in from across the globe.

"Excellence and expertise must be preserved, and that is why it should be heritage-listed", President Macron told French radio after receiving a group of master bakers at the Elysée presidential palace in Paris on Friday.

The bakers behind the application have said it's not just the recipe, which consists of wheat flour, water, yeast and salt, that needs conserving but the name and shape too.

The baguette is part of the daily life of the French people, in the morning, midday and evening.

The legislation says it cannot be frozen or contain added preservatives.

French food is already on UNESCO's list.

Unesco's Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage is different from its register of places, which is known as World Heritage Sites, and lists the Forth Bridge as one.

Instead, this list focuses on traditions - mostly crafts, music, dance and cuisine.

France has already racked up multiple successful applications, from Alençon lace-making to French-style equitation. That submission was centred mostly around the rituals that accompany the cuisine: how wines are paired with dishes, how the table is dressed, and the precise placing of glasses and cutlery. "There is no history of religion [associated with it]; everyone has it, and it has been part of our humanity since the beginning".

"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!"

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