Foods and culinary traditions in Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage –


The hawkers, the Neapolitan pizzaïolos, the argan tree and many more are on the list

Only a select group of foods, cuisines and culinary traditions has been inscribed on the Unesco list of intangible cultural heritage. These unique practices and skills are often passed down from generation to generation. Let’s take a look at some of them and what makes them so special.

The culture of hawkers in multicultural Singapore

Hawker Centers are a meeting place for breakfast, lunch and dinner with family and friends – Shutterstock

The hawker culture has become an integral part of life in Singapore, with hawkers from all walks of life preparing meals that reflect the multicultural nature of this small Asian city-state.

It hails from the street food culture and combines various cuisines – Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and many more – to create dishes that match the taste buds of locals. Many hawkers often specialize in a particular dish and pass their recipe and knowledge on to the younger generation and apprentices.

Considered “community dining rooms”, hawking centers are a meeting place for breakfast, lunch and dinner with family and friends. Spending time there is often accompanied by playing chess, playing on the streets, and doing artistic jamming.

Strengthen ties during nsima, Malawi

A small road in the field near grass and corn in Malawi.  Amazing African mountains on the background.Maize is a staple crop in Malawi – Shutterstock

The meaning of the Malawian word nsima is twofold: on the one hand, it is a culinary tradition in Malawian culture, and on the other hand, it is a thick and sticky porridge made from corn flour which is also part of the tradition.

The tradition of eating nsima brings together the whole family and the village and strengthens the bonds between their members. Nsima follows a long and elaborate process of growing, storing and processing corn. Already young girls are involved in pounding and sifting flour and boys in hunting animals.

Neapolitan art of pizza making, Italy

Neapolitan street food stand.  Calzone fritto, Pagnottiello and Pizza among the traditional dishes offered for saleAround 3,000 pizzaiuoli perform in Naples today – Shutterstock

Unesco has recognized the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker as a cultural heritage since 2017, strengthening Italy’s position as the country with the most Unesco sites in the world.

The tradition goes back several centuries and is transmitted from generation to generation, as well as the know-how, the experiences and the gestures of the pizza chef. The basics also include knowledge of dough making (water, flour, salt and yeast), kneading, resting and rising, stretching and beating, and rotating motions when in the oven.

Around 3,000 pizzaiuoli occur today in Naples, and they are divided into three main categories: the Master Pizzaiuolo, the Pizzaiuolo and the baker. Young apprentices observe their masters at their bottega and acquire the knowledge necessary to one day become masters.

Arab coffee – the act of generosity

Bedouin man serving Arabic coffee in Wadi Rum, JordanDrinking coffee is associated with socializing and conversing – Shutterstock

In Arab societies, serving coffee is considered an act of hospitality and generosity, and it is associated with socialization and conversation. It is an important part of family life and passed on within the family.

Traditionally, it is prepared in front of guests and begins with roasting the coffee beans over a fire until they change color. Then they are processed into a grind and then added to a saucepan with boiled water. The oldest or most important guest is poured the first cup, filling a quarter – it is customary to drink at least one but no more than three cups.

Kimchi-making dates back to ancient times in North Korea

Kimchi sautéed in a black bowl served with spicesThere are countless variations and uses of kimchi – Shutterstock

Kimchi is one of the most popular dishes in Korean cuisine and its tradition dates back centuries. There are countless variations of this food depending on climatic conditions and customs.

Kimchi is mainly composed of salted and fermented vegetables to which are added spices, fruits, meat or even fish and seafood. It is eaten at almost any meal and on special occasions, and its preparation is a collective effort that begins in childhood and is passed on from mothers to daughters or between in-laws.

Qvevri – ancient method of winemaking, Georgia

Qvevri, traditional Georgian jug for making wine near the stone wall at the monasteryLarge lemon-shaped jars are used to make wine – Shutterstock

Qvevri is an ancient method of producing wine in the country of Georgia. It takes place mainly in the villages where unique grapes are grown, with the whole community joining in the wine activities.

The word qvevri translates to “who is buried” and refers to large lemon-shaped pots that go up to their necks in the ground. The pot is also where the entire wine making process takes place – it contains pressed grapes, skins, stems, seeds and more and left in the pot for five to six months before it sets. be ready to drink.

Mexican food – a modern day favorite

traditional mexican foodTomatoes, Beans, Avocados, Chili Peppers, and more are Mexican Food Staple – Shutterstock

In many places, Mexican has become a popular food choice over the past few decades. However, traditional Mexican food is more than what lands on our plates at a night out.

Agriculture, rituals, cooking techniques, customs and more are part of the process. The cuisine is based on corn, beans and chili with other ingredients, such as tomatoes, squash, avocados, cocoa and vanilla. It is known for its distinct flavors and spices, which resulted from the interaction of the Spanish conquistadors with the Aztec and Mayan cultures and the French.

The beautifying effects of Moroccan argan oil

Processing of argan seeds, Product of MoroccoArgan trees only grow in Morocco and its surroundings – Shutterstock

Argan is one of Morocco’s biggest exports the tree only grows in and around Morocco. Its oil is used for many different purposes, such as cooking, medicine, and cosmetics. Often it is given as a wedding gift and used extensively in food preparation.

Much effort is put into extracting the oil from the fruits of the tree, including harvesting, drying, pulping, crushing, sorting, crushing and blending. Typically, women – known as “argan women” – are most involved in the process and pass their skills on to their daughters.

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