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France’s candidate baguette for inclusion in Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage

France has chosen to present the candidacy of the baguette de pain for inscription in the intangible cultural heritage of Unesco, in preference to the zinc roofs of Paris and to a wine festival in Arbois, we learned on Friday at Ministry of Culture.

The ministry had until March 31 to file its case. The final decision will be up to Unesco, which will not take a decision before the fall of 2022. Rue de Valois has thus confirmed information from the Parisian, which indicated that the Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot had made her choice.

“If this national candidacy were successful before Unesco, the inscription of this element will make it possible to raise awareness that a dietary practice that is part of everyday life, shared by the greatest number and goes without saying, constitutes a heritage to full part “, said the Minister of Culture in a statement.

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This ministry press release reminds us that the number of bakeries is “in constant decline, especially in rural communities”. “In 1970 there were 55,000 artisan bakeries (one for 790 inhabitants) against 35,000 today (one for 2,000 inhabitants), often for the benefit of the sale of industrially produced baguettes”, he adds.

The baguette, symbol of the daily life of the French, immortalized by films and advertisements, is an appellation that appeared at the beginning of the 20th century in Paris.

The baguette was therefore preferred to the zinc roofs of Paris and to the Biou d’Arbois, a feast of the Jura, of medieval and religious origin, which was transformed into a republican feast.

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“After four years of work, it is a great pride that our dossier has been chosen by France”, Dominique Anract, president of the National Confederation of French Bakery-Pastry, told AFP.

“This enhances our know-how and it can encourage young people to choose the profession” because there are many positions to be filled in the bakery, he notes.
Long bread, a baguette is made from only four ingredients (flour, water, salt, yeast or sourdough). It must offer a crispy crust and a soft, honeycombed crumb, when done properly.

Nearly a hundred files around the world each year obtain the label of inclusion in the heritage of intangible property. To compete for the prestigious label, the candidate must first be registered in the national inventory, as are hundreds of know-how and goods in France.

In a second step, it must be deemed suitable for presentation to Unesco, on the advisory opinion of the Ethnological and Intangible Heritage Committee (CPEI). To retain an application, the project must unite a community concerned, which was the case for both bakers and roofers-zinc workers.

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