“I need to know the history of what I eat, not only the price. I need to know where it comes form, the hands that farmed and produced it … the day food has lost its true value and its history, there will be no hope for the future.”
Carlo Petrini, Slow Food President
The intangible cultural heritage of food is an enormous yet underestimated resource, gastronomy treasures the entire history of a territory and embodies how different cultures have merged over the centuries. It is largely used to promote tourism but hardly ever treated as a resource that can leverage environmental sustainability and social integration. Our objective is to improve the capacities of local actors to valorise the intangible heritage of food in a vision that integrates economic, environmental and social sustainability, increasing as a result their knowledge of the richness of the gastronomic heritage and the skills needed to valorise it creatively. Cities are a perfect laboratory where such a change can be successfully achieved: small enough to strongly influence the entrepreneurial and social scene but also large enough to serve as gateways to international markets.
The project is founded on the “new-gastronomy” concept that Slow Food as a movement promotes, a multidisciplinary approach to food that recognizes the strong connections between plate, planet, and people. The project intends to build a transferable model capable to valorise traditional foods with their producers, the breeds and seeds, the traditional processing techniques, the folklore, the cultural landscape, the natural resources nurturing and connecting urban dwellers and rural communities, enhancing the common assets of food heritage in CE and leading to a new alliance among 5 CE heritage cities for the benefit of local administrators, civil society, small business in the food, hospitality and creative sector and citizens at large.
The University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG) will be the scientific coordinator of the project. It will contribute with academic knowledge and methodologies that will be used to conduce a historical-anthropological interpretation of the cities Gastronomic Heritage profiles, especially using visual documentation (particularly the use of cinematographic tools in anthropological research). In collaboration with Slow Food, it will contribute to the methodological framework for exploring and mapping the Gastronomic Heritage and to analyse the cities Gastronomic Heritage profiles. It will make available tools that can contribute to the action plans and PAs: in particular the Granaries of Memory. Through this project, UNISG has developed educational resources to educate new scholars in ethnographic interviewing and editing videos: a digital platform for e-learning has been published as well as a handbook. Within the project UNISG will contribute to develop part of the contents of the trainings. It will contribute to feed the shared strategy. It commits to involve in the project its network of academic partners and higher education institutions. It will contribute to the communication and diffusion of results and to the activities monitoring and assessment. It expects that the project will increase knowledge and awareness among academics, actors of the food chain, public sector and citizens on the management of intangible cultural heritage and on the mapping and valorisation of the local Gastronomic Heritage. It will not perform economic activities neither within nor as a result of the project.