French post office releases scratch-and-sniff baguette stamp

By MiNDFOOD

The scratch and sniff Baguette stamp.
The scratch and sniff Baguette stamp.
The French Post Office has released a special scratch-and-sniff postage stamp to celebrate the country's baked icon - the baguette.

As all eyes are on the country during the lead up to July’s Paris Olympics, the new stamp, with a print run of 594,000 copies, will no doubt be sought after.

Revealed for the first time on the day of Saint-Honore, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, the design features a baguette tied around the middle with a striped red, white and blue ribbon.

The famous long, thin stick of bread has become a well-known symbol of France, enjoyed as part of daily diet in the country – with about 16 million a day being consumed – as well as by tourists seeking out a traditional snack to enjoy with local cheese and wine.

Thanks to special ink which contains microcapsules of aroma that burst when scratched or disturbed, the stamp releases a ‘bakery scent’ similar to an aroma of freshly baked bread. One printer shared the difficulty is in applying the ink without breaking the capsules.

The stamp is intended to be used for international letters of up to 20 grams, so others around the world lucky enough to receive a letter from the European country can also enjoy the delicious fragrance.

Timbre - Baguette de pain française

“The baguette, the bread of our daily lives, the symbol of our gastronomy, the jewel of our culture”, the French postal service, La Poste declared on its website.

The baguette’s exact origins are somewhat debated. Some credit its invention to Napoleon, who required bread that could be easily transported by soldiers, while others attribute it to an Austrian baker named August Zang who brought steam ovens to Paris in the mid-1800s.

Traditional French baguettes are made from four basic ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt. French law even dictates that these are the only ingredients allowed in a traditional baguette and to use the word ‘bakery,’ the bread must be prepared and baked on site and may not be frozen at any time.

In 2022, the baguette even gained World Heritage Status from UNESCO on its “intangible cultural heritage” list, recognising craftsmanship and cultural significance.

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