Literally everyone in the world has at least heard of the baguette, the long crispy bread that is often used for sandwiches, and it’s pretty safe to say that most people have tried it. Beyond just trying it, we’re willing to bet that most people who have tasted a baguette absolutely loved it.
Though there is much speculation about the origin of baguette, but it dates back centuries, and according to Jim Chevalier, author of About the Baguette: Exploring the Origin of a French National Icon, “the bread which became known as the baguette first appeared in its most primitive form in the eighteenth century, then experienced a number of refinements and variations before being (officially) given that name in 1920.”
The baguette has become something of a symbol of France, and that’s why UNESCO has granted it World Heritage status. Audrey Azoulay, former French culture minister shared: “It is important that such craft knowledge and social practices can continue to exist in the future.”
This new UNESCO status follows an announcement from the French cultural ministry that there has been a “continuous decline” in traditional bakeries, which endangers traditional recipes and methods of baking.
Azoulay shared that it took about 6 years to gather all of the documentation needed for the request for the special status. One of the UNESCO requirements includes that the product “constitutes intangible cultural heritage as defined in Article 2 of the Convention” and that it is “in urgent need of safeguarding because its viability is at risk despite the efforts of the community.”
Azoulay continued: “This will make people realize that this regular baguette that they know very well, is something precious. It comes from history and it has character and it’s important to made the public aware of this, to be proud of it.”
As a result of the designation, the French government has announced that there will be a “baguette day” that will encourage more people to learn about the tradition of baguette making and also enjoy the delicious bread.
In addition to the baguette receiving this special status, other foods that made the list include kimchi, Neapolitan pizza, Arabic coffee, and Belgian beer culture.