Emmanuel Macron demands UN recognise the French baguette as a cultural treasure

French football fans hold up baguettes before a football game with Spain

French football fans hold up baguettes before a football game with Spain

The Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage meets annually to evaluate nominations from around the world.

The bakers have been inspired by the success of Italy's Naples pizza, which was protected by the UN's cultural body last year.

President Emmanuel Macron is hoping to lend some serious sway to a campaign by his country's bakers to have the iconic doughy delicacy secure a place on UNESCO's "intangible heritage" list.

But it could be some time before the humble baguette joins the heritage list, which already includes France's traditional "gastronomic meal", in which ritual is deemed as important as the food itself.

Why do the French think this is necessary?

Concerns had previously been raised about mass-produced imitations of the national treasure.

We must preserve its excellence and our expertise, and it is for this reason that it should be heritage-listed.

"The bread is frozen, some of it comes from Romania or who knows where, nothing is carried out in accordance of the rules of the art".

"When I see the quality of bread in supermarkets, it is impossible not to get angry", Dominique Anract, president of the National Confederation of French Patisseries and Bakeries said. To meet the criteria, the bread must only be made from four ingredients: wheat flour, water, yeast and salt.

President Macron once said that he never published the three books he wrote as a young man because he was unsatisfied with them.

Not content with honouring sites like the Great Barrier Reef and Victoria Falls, the UN's cultural organisation also offers protection to "traditions or living expressions" based on their cultural impact and importance.

So far, yoga, Spanish flamenco, Tibetan Opera and Belgian beer culture have made it onto the list. The claim surfaced in a biography of his wife Brigitte, 64, to be published next week.

France has already racked up multiple successful applications, from Alençon lace-making to French-style equitation.

Maëlle Brun, the author of Brigitte Macron, l'Affranchie (The Unfettered Woman), interviewed a neighbour of the Macron family in Amiens, northeast France.

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