(English) What is the Mediterranean Diet?
Many are familiar with the term “Mediterranean Diet” and will have heard of its multiple benefits to our health, but in fact this concept embraces much more than just a way of eating. Indeed, the Mediterranean Diet enjoys Unesco World Heritage status.
The word diet comes from the Greek diaita meaning “way of life”, thus hinting at its true scope. The origins of what we today call the Mediterranean Diet go back thousands of years, to the civilisations who lived and moved through the countries of the Mediterranean basin: from Iberians and Celts, Greeks and Romans to Barbarians and later the Arabs. In this way the Mediterranean Triad of wheat, vines and the olive was continually added to, and incorporated the fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes, seeds and herbs introduced by other cultures.
How could we not wish to partake of this piece of living history? As in the words of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation:
“The Mediterranean Diet is a valuable piece of cultural heritage that from simplicity and variety has resulted in a complete and balanced combination of food based on fresh, local and seasonal food as much as possible. It embraces all the people of the Mediterranean and consists of landscapes, crops, cultivation techniques, markets, elaborations, culinary spaces and gestures, flavours and fragrances, colours, social gatherings and celebrations, legends and devotions, joys and sorrows, as well as innovation as well as traditions.”