In France, we don’t have a vaccine, but we have the baguette. And that is a source of national and international pride. So much so that France has chosen to present the candidacy of the baguette de pain for inscription in the intangible cultural heritage of Unesco, rather than the zinc roofs of Pari or a wine festival in Arbois, indicated Friday to the ministry of the culture.
The final decision will rest with Unesco, which will not take a decision before the fall of 2022. “If this national candidacy were successful before Unesco, the inscription of this element will make it possible to raise awareness that a food practice involving part of everyday life, shared by the greatest number and going without saying, constitutes a heritage in its own right, ”declared the Minister of Culture in a press release.
Heritage in danger
This press release from the ministry recalls 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. “
“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.
The ingredients of success
As a reminder, 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).