Fresh fish, sun-drenched vegetables and olive oil: all components of a cuisine that has been added to the World's Intangible Cultural Heritage classification, according to portuguese-american-journal.com.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) officially recognised the Mediterranean diet - one of only five to be named on the list - at an Intergovernmental Committee held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
This particular designation is given to social practices, rituals, festivals, oral traditions and knowledge concerning the production of traditional crafts.
A statement issued by UNESCO explained the decision: "The Mediterranean diet is a set of traditional practices, knowledge and skills passed on from generation to generation and providing a sense of belonging and continuity to the concerned communities."
Predominantly comprising fresh, locally grown or farmed foods, the Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular in the world. It is also said to be one of the healthiest owing to its incorporation of 'good fats' and nutrient-rich ingredients which can decrease the risk of some life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease. Most holiday-makers fall in love with the hearty, home-cooked dishes.
According to theportugalnews.com, this is the first time that the Algarve's heritage has been thus acknowledged; a decision that will have clearly pleased the Portuguese delegation, which was lead by Tavira Town Council.
The other foods or diets that have been recognised over the years include French, Mexican and Japanese cuisine, plus a Turkish ceremonial dish called 'keskek', japandailypress.com reports.
Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013