BAGUETTES AWARDED SPECIAL STATUS
To quote President Macron "250 grams of magic and perfection in our daily lives. A French-style art of living. We've been fighting for years with bakers and the gastronomy world for its recognition. The baguette is now on UNESCO's intangible heritage site!"
The baguette, the long, crusty loaf that is a delicious staple of French life, has been awarded special protected status, placing it in a culinary pantheon alongside other regional food delicacies from around the world.
The "artisanal know-how and culture of the baguette" is now officially recognized on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the organization announced recently, inscribing the expertise behind the French bread as an integral part of human culture.
UNESCO -- the UN's cultural body -- defines intangible cultural heritage as "traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants."
The baguette joins other foods and culinary cultures on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, including the making of Neapolitan pizza, kimchi, Belgian beer culture, the "Mediterranean diet", and Arabic coffee.
Tradition and craftsmanship
UNESCO's director general, Audrey Azoulay, said "the baguette's protected status pays tribute to tradition, craftsmanship and ensures the artisanal way of baking is passed on to the next generation."
"It's kind of a way of life" Azoulay said. "There is always a boulangerie nearby, you can go and buy fresh affordable bread and you meet people, meet with bakers, it's a very important element of social cohesion."
Azoulay said it took six years for France to collect all the necessary documentation before it submitted its request to UNESCO.
"This will make people realise that this regular baguette that they know very well, is something precious," she said. "It comes from history and it has character and it's important to make the public aware of this, to be proud of it."
While boulangeries in France typically sell numerous types of baguette, the best are known as baguettes de tradition or simply traditions. These can only be made with four ingredients -- flour, water, salt and yeast or leavening -- and must be baked on site.