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France Issues Scratch-and-Sniff Baguette Postage Stamps

Joining the ranks of the screen goddess Brigitte Bardot and the Eiffel Tower, another French treasure is being celebrated with its own postage stamp: the baguette.

And this one is scratch-and-sniff.

The latest showcasing of French cultural heritage as Paris prepares to host millions of visitors for the Summer Olympics and Paralympics, the new stamp features a cartoon image of a baguette wrapped in a tricolor ribbon.

It was unveiled by France’s postal service on Thursday — May 16, the feast day of Saint Honoré, the patron saint of bakers.

“The baguette, the bread of our daily lives, the symbol of our gastronomy, the jewel of our culture,” the usually not-flashy postal service raved in its description of its new offering.

The stamp, which is intended to be used for international letters of up to 20 grams, or about 7 ounces, was released for sale at post offices and kiosks throughout the republic on Friday, with an initial print run of 594,000 and a price tag of 1.96 euros, or $2.14, each.

Thanks to scratch-and-sniff technology, it will also transport “bakery fragrances” to those lucky enough to receive a letter from France.

The baguette is one of the most talked-about breads in the world, and certainly the most popular in its native France: Six billion baguettes are made every year, according to the postal service.

The culinary treat has also drawn international accolades, including being added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 2022. At the time, a gushing President Emmanuel Macron called the baguette — made with just four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast — “the spirit of French know-how.”

And this month, bakers in Suresnes, a Paris suburb, baked a 461-foot baguette in front of judges from Guinness World Records, breaking a record held by Italy since 2019.

In Paris, the hottest competition is the annual “Grand Prix de la baguette” during which hundreds of baguettes compete to be called the city’s best. The jury is made up of professionals, a deputy mayor of Paris, five journalists and six members of the public, said to be selected at random.

This year, Xavier Netry beat out 172 other bakers to take home the prize, which comes with an award of €4,000, the opportunity to supply the French presidential palace for a year, and bragging rights — as well as extra-long lines of customers — for perpetuity.

The postal service is hoping people will line up to partake of the baguette stamp, as well.

There was no word on when a croissant stamp might follow.

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