The suspense is about to be lifted. A year after its candidacy, the baguette will finally know if it gets its hour of glory. Unesco will decide on Tuesday to say whether or not it integrates it as an intangible element of the common heritage of humanity.
A year ago, Roselyne Bachelot, then Minister of Culture, revealed this candidacy to us. “The baguette is a living part of our heritage! Alive but fragile because it relies on the exceptional know-how of the craftsmen, and their commitment to this beautiful but demanding work. The baguette is a noble and deceptively simple product, it takes years, from a few ingredients, to find its signature… its touch! This product unites us and it is for this reason that I chose it,” explained Roselyne Bachelot.
The decision is in the hands of the United Nations Educational Organization. If it crowned the baguette, “the inscription of this element would make it possible to raise awareness that a food practice that is part of everyday life, shared by the greatest number and self-evident, constitutes a heritage in its own right”, had declared the Minister of Culture in a press release.
Only four ingredients
The profession is particularly in difficulty due to the energy crisis which is causing bills to explode. The number of bakeries is “constantly declining, especially in rural municipalities”, also recalls the ministry. “In 1970, there were 55,000 traditional bakeries (one for 790 inhabitants) compared to 35,000 today (one for 2,000 inhabitants), often for the benefit of the sale of industrially produced baguettes”, he adds.
Long bread, a baguette is made from only four ingredients (flour, water, salt, yeast or sourdough). It must offer a crispy crust and a soft and honeycombed crumb, when it is made in the rules.
Nearly a hundred files in the world obtain each year the label of inclusion in the heritage of intangible assets.