The most precious treasure of Italian culture? Our culinary art.23 November 2023
The recent nomination of Italian cuisine as a UNESCO cultural heritage shines a spotlight on the universal value of our country’s culinary tradition.
As we have recently learned, Italian cuisine, famous all over the world for its variety, authenticity and delicious recipes, has been proposed as a candidate for inclusion in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. This initiative is a recognition of the importance of Italian cuisine as a unique social and cultural expression that has influenced food around the world, and has deep roots in the history and tradition of our country.
Today we would like to explore the reasons for which Italian cuisine deserves to be considered as UNESCO cultural heritage, and the impact that this recognition could have on its future.
We will start from an important fact: Italian cuisine is much more than just a combination of ingredients and recipes. It is a collection of practices, expertise and values that have developed over many centuries. From regional traditions to the culinary art of our grandmothers, it has been passed down from generation to generation, preserving the secrets and techniques that make it unique. Every region of Italy has its own distinctive dishes, based on fresh, high-quality ingredients, often rooted in local resources.
And what is all this, if not a real treasure?
This is why the nomination of Italian cuisine as UNESCO cultural heritage is an institutional initiative that will help to preserve and protect this unique cultural identity. The nomination would recognise the historical and cultural value of Italian cuisine as world heritage, committing to protect its traditions and promote its diversity. At the same time, it would help to preserve the cultivation methods, sustainable agriculture and ancient production methods for artisan foods that are closely connected to Italian cuisine.
And that’s not all. The inclusion of Italian cuisine in the UNESCO list could have a significant impact on the country’s tourism and economy. Italy is already one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and this nomination could attract even more visitors interested in trying its authentic food. This could stimulate, for example, the development of businesses connected to food and wine, such as restaurants, agritourism locations and food and wine tours, generating economic opportunities for local communities.
And finally, we mustn’t forget how much this recognition of good Italian food could amplify the promotion of the Mediterranean diet and its healthy lifestyle.
This inclusion in the UNESCO list could offer a unique opportunity to continue to promote the Mediterranean diet around the world as a model for a healthy diet, encouraging a balanced lifestyle based on the use of fresh ingredients, such as olive oil, wholegrain cereals, vegetables and fruit.
All ancient “treasures” that our beautiful country has in abundance, more than any other nation around the world.
To keep up to date on the developments and results of our nomination: www.beniculturali.it