Mediterranean Gastronomy-en

Mediterranean Gastronomy

On 17th November 2010, the Mediterranean Diet was inscribed on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. Mediterranean gastronomy and Mediterranean products are mentioned as an ideal, model diet, that mainly includes olive oil, cereals, fresh or dried fruits, vegetables, small amounts of fish, dairy and meat, many seasonings and spices, accompanied by wine or other forms of distilled liquor, always with respect to the tradition and beliefs of each society.

However, the Mediterranean diet is not just a standard diet but a way of life. This is also endorsed by UNESCO’s definition of nutrition as a “set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions ranging from the places of origin of the food to the table”.

Mediterranean gastronomy and the way of production and preparation of traditional Mediterranean products, promote social connection and communication, as common meals have always been an important part of our societies’ customs and celebrations. The Mediterranean diet is a source of knowledge, beliefs, songs, stories and legends. In conclusion, this is a true way of life that has its roots in the knowledge of places and gets its power from traditional foods.

Nowadays, however, the consumption of premade and processed foods rich in salt and fat is constantly rising, leading to high rates of obesity and cardiovascular diseases, and thus threatening the traditional Mediterranean products and centuries-old gastronomic habits.

The Cultural Foundation “Routes of the Olive Tree”, in the effort to protect traditions and strengthen the Mediterranean-European identity, has prioritized activities and events to combat this negative trend of unhealthy eating and harmful diet.