Dec 022010

In a recent insert of the Corriere dell’Umbria (16 Nov 2010, p.5), an unnamed author reported the following:

“The Mediterranean Diet the patrimony of humanity? Just a few more days of waiting, then the Technical Committee of UNESCO will sift through the candidacy presented by Italy, Greece, Spain, and Moracco. The examination began Monday, 15 November, in Nairobi. For Italy, the Mediterranean diet (the expression was coined in the Fifties by American nutritionist Ancel Keys), as a lifestyle based on genuine food products, could be the third element on the list, after Sicilian puppets and Sardinian Tenor Singing. For the first time the gastronomy of a country could become global patrimony.’It’s not about making gastronomy into a museum, but rather assuring the transmission of our culinary culture and the gastronomic dish, above all ones from holidays, from families, of which it is an essential element,’ said Pierre Sanner, director of the French Mission for Patrimony and Alimentary Cultures (MFPCA). And Italy, with its cultural baggage of cured sausages, oils, wines, cheeses, bread, and pasta has all the criteria for a specific candidacy. And a winning one.”

There’s no mention of Croatia, Albania, Bosnia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Isreal, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, or Algeria, all of whom presumably share this diet. For an article that is a critique of the concept of the “Mediterranean Diet,” see this post. ZN

[Update: The Mediterranean Diet was indeed awarded the "Immaterial Human Heritage" title on 23 November 2010.]

Grazie a Daniela Buglione per la segnalazione.

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