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France's Macron wants baguettes protected by UNESCO

14 Enero 2018

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".

Earlier Friday, Dominique Anract, president of the National Confederation of French Bakers, had asked Macron to support the group's bid to the UN agency "to protect the quality of traditional baguette" against "the increasing weight of big supermarkets and convenience stores in the retail of bread".

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

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

Bakers in the country were inspired by the sucess of Italy's Naples pizza being added to the list of Unesco's cultural treasures.

"Excellence and expertise must be preserved, and that is why it should be heritage-listed", President Macron told French radio.

'The bread is frozen, some of it comes from Romania or who knows where, nothing is carried out in accordance of the rules of the art'. According to the decree, the genuine baguette must be made out of four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast - and contain no additives.

UNESCO, the UN cultural organization, has designated certain cultural foods or cuisines to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

"The baguette is envied around the world".

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. Yoga, Spanish flamenco and Tibetan Opera have already made the grade, as have Belgian beer culture and the gingerbread craft of northern Croatia.

France already has 15 entries, including one for food - "the gastronomic meal of the French", which UNESCO says "draws circles of family and friends closer together and, more generally, strengthens social ties". It is also forbidden for the bread to be frozen before it is put on the shelves.

France has already racked up multiple successful applications, from Alençon lace-making to French-style equitation.

France's Macron wants baguettes protected by UNESCO