Bread and Heritage

Bread is everywhere in our civilizations and bread and wheat are the DNA of Europe’s civilization. We find it everywhere and all the time, whether to spread pâté, or jam. Its multiple uses are a testimony to the fact that this foodstuff evolved differently among the European countries. But the meaning remains the same. Bread means conviviality, tradition, and heritage. It’s a part of our identity. Bread is fashionable.


Bread has been and still is the staple food of most civilizations. In addition, it has influenced economic conjunctures, provoked wars and revolutions, constituted a symbol in several religions, ...


Everyone has a memory with his grandparents, when their grandmother brought slices of bread for snack. Everyone remembers when their grandfather talked about the scarcity of this staple food during WorldWar2. 


The lack of bread has often caused revolutions; and its abundance has been so important to politicians that it led the Romans to say that they only needed 'panem et circenses' (bread and circus) to keep the peace.


Bread is in our life. “Bread is not only a side dish that complements our favorite recipes; it is also conviviality, a food able to bring together people from different European countries and beyond. It is no coincidence that bread means “Union” in Japanese!


Bread is also the only food that accompanies us daily at the table from the beginning to the end. And it is that bread has a basic quality, which stands out above most food products and makes it a fundamental ally of any diet: even if we eat bread several times a day, every day of the year, we never tire of eating it!


The recognition of the traditional French baguette as a UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage would be a major step forward.


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It is not possible to speak about mankind history without referring to wheat and bread. And although we know that man already used wheat to feed almost 10,000 years ago, the first loaves are found in the Neolithic and are between 6,000 and 9,000 years old.


Bread history is closely linked to our societies’ evolution. The first traces of truly leavened bread originate from Europe when it appeared during the 5th Mill BC. During the chalcolithic, agriculture flourished from the Balkans to Ukraine, and remnants are found in Roumania. The oldest raised bread was found in many bits, in Switzerland near Neuchâtel, on the site of Montmirail. It dates 3719-3699 BC. Another, at Douanne near the Bienne Lake, was knead between 3560-3530 BC, and looks exactly like its modern Alpine counterparts.




As societies industrialized, bread making process evolved. Producing bread was made easier thanks to the machines. 50 years later, when European citizens were confronted to war, bread meant rarity and luxury. We build memories with bread, because bread belongs to our everyday life.




UIBC Request: Request for the declaration of a World Year of Bread and the consideration of Bread as World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO

Request for Bread to be considered as World Intangible Cultural Heritage
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