PHOTO: French Post Office Reveals Scratch-and-Sniff Stamp to Celebrate the Baguette

A woman walks out of a bakery with a baguette in her hand in Paris, France, November 7, 20
Gao Jing/Xinhua via Getty Images

The French postal service is offering a scratch-and-sniff stamp that highlights the beautiful aroma of the country’s beloved baguette.

The stamp, which costs 1.96 euro, was unveiled on Thursday, and its “bakery scent” comes from microcapsules in the ink, France 24 reported on Friday.

An image of the stamps shows each one with a tiny baguette tied with red, white, and blue ribbon.

Per the BBC, the French Post Office issued almost 600,000 of the stamps, created to celebrate the baguette, which has been described as a long, thin, and crusty loaf of bread.

“The stamps were released for sale on Friday, after a launch on Thursday, the day of Saint-Honoré, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs,” the BBC report said. “The French baguette was given Unesco heritage status in 2022.”

Every day, tens of millions of the loaves are baked and consumed around the globe, which proves its popularity, according to the Britannica website:

The history of the baguette is contested, and there are few facts pointing to a single definitive origin. One theory attributes the baguette’s invention to Napoleon Bonaparte, who, according to legend, ordered that bread be made extraordinarily thin and long to better fit into a special pocket in soldier’s uniforms. Another unlikely—though well documented—explanation for the baguette’s creation is that, unlike prior breads that were reserved for the elite, it symbolized equality. After the French Revolution, the newly formed government put “the bread of equality” into law.

Baguettes are made from a relatively lean dough and can be baked in large quantities; they are thus affordable for all. For this reason, some believe that baguettes were invented in response to the government’s demand for a “bread of equality.”

However, the French Baguette is not without competition, according to a BBC report in 2023 which pointed to the bread known as Ciabatta.

“In 1982, Italian rally car driver, Arnaldo Cavallari, decides to create a new form of bread. He’s sick of the popularity of the French baguette,” the outlet’s video report said:

In 2021, a French baker told Deutsche Welle (DW) “People buy their baguettes from seven in the morning to nine in the evening,” adding that “For the French, baguettes are a part of daily life.”

The outlet noted “There, only bakeries that bake fresh bread every day are allowed to call themselves a ‘boulangerie’, which might explain the high quality of baguettes throughout the country.”


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