Emmanuel Macron demands United Nations recognise the French baguette as a cultural treasure

President Macron is considering seeking UN protection for the baguette

French President Emmanuel Macron said he wants the traditional baguette - that delicious doughy delicacy - to be protected as a world treasure by UNESCO.

"When I see the the growing dominance of French supermarkets and convenience stores in the sale of bread, I say to myself that we must act", he told the food news website Atablula.

"The baguette is the envy of the whole world", he told Europe 1 radio after meeting Friday with bakers at the Elysée presidential palace in Paris.

"Excellence and expertise must be preserved, and that is why it should be heritage-listed".

Baguettes have an important role in French life.

In his interview with Europe 1, Macron linked this proposal to the successful UNESCO bid by Neapolitan pizza makers a year ago. The traditional bread is "envied around the world", the president said.

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'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'.

The UN cultural body's world heritage committee aims to protect traditions against the effects of globalisation and meets once a year to evaluate nominations. The Parisian baker used the ceremonial presentation of the "galette des rois" to the French president to make his recommendation to Macron.

The bakers behind the application have said it's not just the recipe, which consists of wheat flour, water, yeast and salt, that needs conserving but the name and shape too. It can not be frozen or contain preservatives.

Other recent additions to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity include the Basel Carnival, Cuban Punto music and the Iranian horse riding game called Chogran.

France has already had a number of successful applications for the UNESCO heritage list, including Alecon lace-making and French-style equitation.

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