Twisted heritage: Germany eyes UNESCO status for its famous pretzels
German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir is getting behind an application by the baker's guild of Baden-Württemberg for pretzel-baking to be recognized by UNESCO for intangible cultural heritage status.
The first point of discussion on the route to UNESCO heritage status is the question of what constitutes a real pretzel. While the Wurttembergish variant has a higher fat content and thinner, crispier arms, the Bavarian pretzel is also not cut open at the bottom, allowing it to tear open during the baking process in a more rustic fashion.
Özdemir, who was back in his hometown of Bad Urach at the foot of the Swabian Alps in Baden Württemberg on Thursday, said: "The Bavarians think their pretzel is the best, and we know that ours is the best."
However, he called for a "cross-country initiative" that would grant heritage status to the pretzel variations not just within Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland and France.
The joint initiative received the support of Bavarian Agriculture Minister Michaela Kaniber. After all, all pretzel enthusiasts will be happy to see their craft honored as cultural heritage even as, in the words of Kaniber, "it will remain a matter of taste which pretzel is really the best."