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Pretzel vies for UNESCO cultural heritage status

Germany plans to add the pretzel to the UNESCO heritage list. As a first step, the Württemberg bakers’ guild, in collaboration with regional sponsors, plans to put forth a proposal to have the pretzel included in the National Directory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The bakers’ guild has the support of Federal Food Minister Cem Özdemir in this endeavor. “After the successful inclusion in the nationwide directory, I can imagine that the craft of pretzel baking also deserves to be included on the international list of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, as pretzel looping is also traditionally practiced in Austria, France and Switzerland,” Özdemir said during a visit to a bakery in the Reutlingen district.

The pretzel has been the emblem of bakers and formerly their guilds in southern German areas for centuries.

In 2014, UNESCO classified German bread culture as intangible cultural heritage for its uniqueness and diversity.

Photo: Federal Food Minister Cem Özdemir. Credit: BMEL/Photothek