The Best of GRReporter
flag_bg flag_gr flag_gb

Greek salad trademark

25 August 2010 / 15:08:30  GRReporter
4938 reads

Would the Greek salad be declared cultural heritage under the protection of UΝΕSCΟ? This can happen in the nearest future if the Mediterranean diet is voted to enter the list of intangible cultural heritage, which already includes customs, types of traditional arts and festivals worldwide.

Greece, Italy, Morocco and Spain suggested a year ago the Mediterranean diet to be recognized as a world cultural heritage. The members of UΝΕSCΟ will decide the fate of the Greek salad at a meeting in Nairobi in November. The Italian Minister of Agriculture Giancarlo Galan expressed his conviction that the UN cultural body will approve the proposal that these four countries made four years ago but it was rejected then.

According to Galan the Mediterranean diet is based on “knowledge handed down from generation to generation” and “it is the only thing of its kind in the world that deserves to be preserved”. And this time special emphasis is laid upon this traditional dimension to persuade the commission.

The term Mediterranean diet was introduced in the 1950s by the American Ancel Keys who meant a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil and almost no meat and sugar. In 1990s the Faculty of Public Health at the Harvard University explained the concept as “dietary habits typical of Crete, for the greater part of Greece and southern Italy in the early 1960.” This kind of diet reduces risk of heart and other health problems.
But has the Mediterranean diet something in common with the food available nowadays in the Mediterranean countries, asks an article in Vima newspaper. This type of diet includes the Greek salad, Italian Caprese with mozzarella and tomatoes, pasta dishes, Moroccan tagine, Spanish paella and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.
Declaring the Mediterranean diet a cultural heritage will serve to advertise the products of those countries that produce olive oil and fruits. The French President Nicolas Sarkozy launched recently a similar campaign for official recognition of the French cuisine.

The antithesis against the proposal for declaring the Mediterranean cuisine as special is evident in the statement of Tim Hayword in the British newspaper The Guardian: “Supporting the idealised diet of a poorly defined area which happens to be fashionable with the health police does nothing at all to add to the richness of our shared heritage.”

The list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was launched two years ago and includes 178 “cultural experiences” none of them in Greece. This list should not be confused with the list of material cultural heritage, in which monuments in Athens such as the Acropolis and the Rice Terraces in the Philippines are listed.


Tags: NewsGreek saladMediterranean dietCuisineUNESCOCultural heritage
GRReporter’s content is brought to you for free 7 days a week by a team of highly professional journalists, translators, photographers, operators, software developers, designers. If you like and follow our work, consider whether you could support us financially with an amount at your choice.
You can support us only once as well.
blog comments powered by Disqus