Culinary Cultural Heritage of Greece & Rural Space as Cultural Heritage

Highlighting the culinary cultural heritage of Greece is one of the priority objectives connected with the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO, 2003).
The Directorate of Modern Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Sports has already implemented a series of actions connected to this objective, such as: the inscription of the elements “Mediterranean Diet” (joint file with Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Italy, Morocco and Portugal) and “Know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chios” on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO and the creation of the series Culinary Cultural Heritage of Greece, as part of which an e-booklet has already been released and is dedicated to the Greek Pie. The series is to continue with a second edition, which will be dedicated to the wine tradition and the vineyards of Greece.

In the context of highlighting the agricultural heritage of our country, on March 2016, a Protocol of Cooperation was signed (on the initiative of our Directorate) between the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports (General Secretary of Culture, Mrs. Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki) and the Agricultural University of Athens (Rector, Mr. George Papadoulis).

Directly related to the culinary cultural heritage is the highlighting of the Greek rural landscape, which is formed mainly from the cultivation of olive trees, vines, wheat, as cultural goods. Markets, bazaars, squares, threshing floors, fountains and springs, local natural resource management (forests, water, etc.), the fairs and festivals along with local dietary habits and traditions form a network of materials and intangible cultural expressions and a long productive identity deeply rooted in time.

As part of the promotion of the landscape as a cultural asset, on an initiative of Greece and Cyprus, a joint nomination file was submitted to UNESCO, along with six other countries (France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia), that led to the inscription of the “Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques”, on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (UNESCO, 2003) in 2018. Drystone walling constructions are a common feature of the greek agricultural landscape and therefore intertwined with the production of agricultural products.