Emmanuel Macron demands United Nations recognise the French baguette as a cultural treasure
14 January, 2018, 12:42 | Author: Wade Massey
"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!"
It comes after the United Nations body recently confirmed that the art of pizza making from the Italian city of Naples was to be added to the world's leading cultural list. "We must preserve its excellence and our expertise, and it is for this reason that it should be heritage-listed", the French leader told Europe Radio 1 following a meeting with French master bakers in Paris on Friday.
Artisan breadmakers have voiced concern about mass-produced imitations.
Dominique Anract, president of the National Condederation of French Patisseries and Bakeries, told food website Atabula: 'When I see the quality of bread in supermarkets, it is impossible not to get angry.
The campaign comes just a few weeks after Unesco gave World Heritage status to the art of the Italian pizza, and those who make it - officially named "pizzaïolos" - following a global petition in its favour, which gained two million signatures worldwide.
If the French government's quest proves successful, then baguette-making is poised to join the list of some 470 activities protected by the UNESCO, among them Kyrgyzstan's game of dead goat polo, Dutch windmills, Belgium's beer culture and Germany's organ craftsmanship.
The UK is not yet featured anywhere on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, but the Tower of London and the Lake District are among the 31 British sites with a place on its World Heritage list.
The traditional baguette is already protected in France by a law passed in 1993. To meet the criteria, the bread must only be made from four ingredients: wheat flour, water, yeast and salt.
What is already on the list?
Instead, this list focuses on traditions - mostly crafts, music, dance and cuisine.
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".
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