December 7, 2013

UNESCO 2013 Intangible Heritage List for Food & Diets

UNESCO Enlists Japanese Cooking as a Heritage, Mediterranean Diet Not Lebanese

One of UNESCO's three heritage missions, Intangible Cultural Heritage focuses on intangible aspects of culture such as festivals, performing arts and traditional arts, crafts and foods that are transmitted from generation to generation. ( Full Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity). This year, UNESCO enlisted the below diets, cuisines, and dishes:

  • The United Nation's cultural organisation has added traditional Japanese food to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list for this year of 2013.  It is the second cuisines enlisted after the French cuisine back in 2012.
    Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, notably for the celebration of New Year.
    It is hoped the accolade will help preserve Washoku - the name used to describe all types of Japanese dishes such as sushi - as traditional dietary habits die out in the country due to the invasion of fast food and the loss of traditional cooking.Previously, only French cooking had been distinguished as a national culinary tradition.
    Washoku gives Japanese a feeling of social cohesion, it’s of low-calorie and healthy.

One the dishes I had was Saengseonkkaseu (생선까스 fish katsu) is a Korean fish cutlet modeled on the Japanese dish. 

Another is Teriyaki (照り焼き): can be beef, chicken or fish!

My favorite:
Teriyaki (照り焼き): beef
  • Mediterranean diet was also Inscribed in 2013 on the list, yet it was represented by those countries: Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Portugal ONLY!
    I was surprised of not seeing Lebanon's name among the countries mentioned! Unless we hope that UNESCO enlists Lebanese food as a unique cuisine on its intangible heritage list that needs to be preserved, survived, and inherited throughout history.
Morocco Food
Couscous Salad, a Moroccon Dish

  • UNESCO also enlisted Turkish coffee culture and tradition as an intanbile heritage.

    Turkish coffee combines special preparation and brewing techniques with a rich communal traditional culture. The freshly roasted beans are ground to a fine powder; then the ground coffee, cold water and sugar are added to a coffee pot and brewed slowly on a stove to produce the desired foam. The beverage is served in small cups, accompanied by a glass of water, and is mainly drunk in coffee-houses where people meet to converse, share news and read books. The tradition itself is a symbol of hospitality, friendship, refinement and entertainment that permeates all walks of life. An invitation for coffee among friends provides an opportunity for intimate talk and the sharing of daily concerns. Turkish coffee also plays an important role on social occasions such as engagement ceremonies and holidays; its knowledge and rituals are transmitted informally by family members through observation and participation. The grounds left in the empty cup are often used to tell a person’s fortune. Turkish coffee is regarded as part of Turkish cultural heritage: it is celebrated in literature and songs, and is an indispensable part of ceremonial occasions.
The best coffee I ever had was in Turkey, Galata Tower


  1. It's weird Lebanon and other countries not listed in the Mediterranean region! and I'm glad you're back to posting more often ::))

  2. hehehe thanks!! :D
    Eh I wondered why they didnt include. I am assuming to avoid any political conflict in the region.
    Since if they wanted to include Lebanon, they'd have to include its neighbors too :D