The Mediterranean Diet has been inscribed on the revised UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, following efforts by a group of countries including Cyprus.
Croatia, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and Spain also made the joint proposal.
An official announcement yesterday said: “According to the description submitted to UNESCO by the seven countries, the Mediterranean Diet – derived from the Greek word diaita, way of life – is the set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions, ranging from the landscape to the table, which in the Mediterranean basin concerns the crops, harvesting, picking, fishing, animal husbandry, conservation, processing, cooking, sharing and consuming the cuisine.
“As a unique lifestyle determined by the Mediterranean climate and region, the Mediterranean Diet also appears in the cultural spaces, festivals and celebrations associated with it,” said a statement.
These spaces and events become the receptacle of gestures of mutual recognition and respect, of hospitality, neighbourliness, conviviality, intergenerational transmission and intercultural dialogue,” it added.
Each country selected a representative community for the way of life promoted through the Mediterranean Diet: Agros (Cyprus), Brač and Hvar (Croatia), Soria (Spain), Koroni (Greece), Cilento (Italy), Chefchaouen (Morocco) and Tavira (Portugal).
Agros is a traditional village in the Troodos Mountains, in the Pitsillia area. It stands on a wine route, surrounded by vineyards, pine trees, wild roses and herbs. The diverse natural surroundings, the rich cultural heritage, the warm hospitality of the inhabitants and the preservation of several traditions make the Pitsillia area in general –and Agros in particular- highly representative of the cultural identity of the island.
Some of the traditional products made there are: tsamarella, hoiromeri, posyrti and lountza pitsilias, zivania, soutsioukkos, ppalouzes, kkiofterka, traditional sweets and the well-known Agros rose water.
The identification and description of the local products of the Mediterranean Diet in Cyprus appears in the Gastronomical Map of Cyprus and the Cyprus Food Virtual Museum.