The French baguette is that long, thin loaf of bread that has become an integral part of French culture and cuisine. God, I love a beautiful crisp, golden crust and soft, but fluffy-inside baguette in the morning. It’s the sweetheart of the French people, and of exquisite eaters all over the world. Over the years, the baguette has become synonymous of France along with the Eiffel Tower, and it is often associated with the country’s art, fashion, and cookery.
In fact, the baguette is such an important part of French culture that it has been protected by law since 1993, when the French government passed an act that established strict guidelines for the production of authentic French baguettes. According to this law, a French baguette must be made from a specific type of flour, water, salt, and yeast, and it must be baked in a wood-fired oven. The law also states that a true baguette cannot contain any preservatives or additives, and it must be baked on the same day that it is sold.
Baguette, the all-time French ambassador
The origins of the baguette can be traced back to the 19th century, when bakers in Paris began to produce long, thin loaves of bread that were easier to slice and serve than the round loaves that were traditional at the time. The word “baguette” itself comes from the French word for “stick,” which describes the shape of the bread.
Despite its grandness in French culture, the baguette is actually a relatively simple food that is made with just a few ingredients. However, it is the attention to detail and the careful craftsmanship of the bakers that make a great baguette. From the selection of the right flour to the proper fermentation of the dough, every step of the process is important in creating the perfect baguette.
It’s not only a cultural significance, but also the baguette is also an essential part of the French diet. It is often eaten as a breakfast food or as a snack, and it is also a common component of many French meals. Whether it is used to make a sandwich or simply enjoyed on its own, the baguette is an integral part of the French culinary experience.
Cultural Legacy by UNESCO
Since last November 30, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added the baguette to list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which consists of approximately 600 traditions from more than 130 countries.
According to UNESCO’s definition, a Cultura Heritage expressions are “traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants.”
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s director-general, said the baguette’s newly minted status “celebrates the French way of life: the baguette is a daily ritual, a structuring element of the meal, synonymous with sharing and conviviality,” adding, “It is important that these skills and social habits continue to exist in the future.”
This milestone was stated after the France’s Ministry of Culture warned of the “continuous decline” in the number of traditional bakeries, noting that 400 have closed every year over the past 50 years.