The baguette, a movie icon of French culture, has finally been inscribed on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
On November 30, the UN heritage body, UNESCO, voted to include the “artisanal know-how and culture of baguette bread” on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. This achievement “celebrates the French way of life: the baguette is a daily ritual, a structuring element of the meal, synonymous with sharing and conviviality,” according to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
A baguette is a long, thin bread typically made from basic lean dough. It is notable for its length and crisp crust. The history of the French baguette, on the other hand, is incomplete, leading to the spread of several myths about the bread’s origins.
Some believe Napoleon Bonaparte invented the French baguette to make it easier for soldiers to transport bread. Because the round shape of other breads took up a lot of space, Bonaparte allegedly requested that they be made into the skinny stick shape with specific measurements to fit into the soldiers’ uniforms.
A baguette, which means “wand” or “baton,” now costs around 1 euro ($1.04). Although baguette consumption has decreased in recent decades, France still produces approximately 16 million loaves per day, or nearly 6 billion baguettes per year, according to a 2019 Fiducial estimate.
The UNESCO heritage list includes around 600 traditions from over 130 countries, with the goal of preserving skills and social habits from various cultures around the world.
Among the many traditions recognized by UNESCO are beekeeping in Slovenia, traditional tea processing techniques in China, Nuad Thai traditional Thai massage, and the art of pottery-making by the Cham people in Vietnam.
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