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The French baguette and UNESCO

Keywords for this post:BaguetteFranceUnescoWorldHeritage
The French baguette and UNESCO
As you may have already read here or there, France has initiated for some time the procedure to try to have the French baguette classified as an intangible world heritage by UNESCO.

When you put it like that, it sounds a bit namby-pamby, and it would be tempting to imagine an American (for example) sniggering at those Frenchies and their damn baguette that they love so much.

But it's not as simplistic as that, because for us French, the relationship with bread is very particular.
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Last modified on: March 18th 2020

The French baguette and UNESCO
First of all, and even if we are used to it, let's not forget that bread is the cornerstone of our diet, even if its consumption has been steadily decreasing for years, it still remains something very important for us, on a daily basis. To be convinced of this, we need only look at the astonishing number of expressions in French that refer to bread: "Manger son pain blanc", "Lui faire passer le gout du pain", "Du pain sur la planche"... etc.

Then our bread, or rather our breads, have an almost unique specificity in the world, it is that they are crispy. We all appreciate a warm bread that comes out of the oven, and that crunches when you cut it or eat it, it doesn't look like much but it's typically French. It's a delight of texture, but also of taste because 80% of the taste of the bread is in the crust. And if you have travelled outside of France, you will have noticed, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, the poor quality of breads, let's say "crumb bread", under plastic, their frightening composition, and their almost total absence of taste, associated with their suspicious elasticity after 3 weeks in the cupboard.

la baguette un cliché français



The baguette is even more French, almost Parisian it must be admitted, this long and thin bread, golden and crispy, with a very short shelf life (6h max) that we buy every day, or even several times a day, we are the only ones in the world to do that, and we do it a lot: 32 million baguettes are sold in France every day. So there is no need to specify "French baguette", because a baguette is only French.

It is however very simple as a recipe: water + flour + salt + leaven + a drop of yeast, but all the talent of the baker comes afterwards: long fermentation, short kneading, quality of the products, careful cooking, to finally obtain an exceptional product.

baguette française



I had already mentioned in a previous post that there was baguette and baguette, and that it was necessary at all costs (yes, well, I'm exaggerating a bit, but it's a subject that touches me a lot) to prefer the "traditional" baguette, if possible well baked, because it's so much better for the taste and also for the health.

All this to tell you, that no, this classification request is not a baker's whim, we are indeed with the baguette on a real French specificity, which deserves to be distinguished.

And then, oh, the Neapolitans have already obtained it for the pizza ;-)...

To sum up: The French baguette classified as a UNESCO world heritage site? But of course, what a fair recognition of a so french product !

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