HomeNewsBaguette, Kimchi, and more are on UNESCO's list of culturally important foods.

Baguette, Kimchi, and more are on UNESCO’s list of culturally important foods.

Food is an essential part of any country’s history and culture. Many family recipes get passed down from one generation to the next or, sadly, get lost over time. Because of globalization and the fast growth of the internet, we have learned about many exciting recipes and ways to cook from all over the world. Recently, we saw how bread is made in Iceland using the heat from hot springs. The list of intangible cultural heritage from UNESCO is another list that collects and honors some of the world’s best food traditions and recipes. 

What is the UNESCO list of intangible cultural treasures? 

The coveted UNESCO World Heritage label is often given to cities and places worldwide. But what does food have to do with it? The Intangible Cultural Heritage list is another one made by UNESCO. This list includes foods, drinks, and cultures from around the world to help people learn more about these great food cultures.

Countries send their requests and nominations to UNESCO. Then, an intergovernmental committee, which was set up to protect the intangible cultural heritage, chooses who gets on the list. According to the UNESCO website, “The Committee meets annually to evaluate nominations proposed by States Parties to the 2003 Convention and decide whether or not to include these cultural practices and expressions of intangible heritage on the Convention’s Lists.”

On UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage are well-known foods from around the world.

UNESCO puts out a list of traditions from different countries every year. Whether it’s the way tea is made in China or baguettes are made in France, this great list has a lot of great food. Even though it doesn’t cover everything, it gives a small look into the vast history of food worldwide. So, if you love food and want to try all the great dishes and traditions from around the world, this list will be beneficial.

Here are the top nine most-requested foods on the UNESCO list: 

1. Baguette The oblong French bread, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2022, is one of the most popular foods in the country. Even though it looks like something everyone knows, it takes a lot of skill and knowledge to make. The outside of the bread is crunchy, but the inside is soft, and it is used every day in many different recipes. The UNESCO honor came at a good time since the number of traditional baguette bakeries is decreasing. 

2. Kimchi Korean food has become very popular, but in 2015, the traditional art of making kimchi was recognized. This fermented vegetable dish is a must-have at any Asian restaurant. It tastes a little bit sour and spicy. Every Korean home has its way of making kimchi, and the recipes are usually given to close family members so they can continue the tradition. Kimchi-making is a tradition called “Kimjang,” which is thought to bring the whole community together. 

3. Neapolitan Pizza Who doesn’t love a doughy slice of pizza with tangy marinara sauce and the best toppings? Pizzaiolo, the art of making Neapolitan pizza, began in Naples, Italy. UNESCO has recognized this remarkable process, which includes making the dough, shaping the pizza traditionally, and cooking it in a wood-fired oven. Neapolitan pizza requires a lot of knowledge and skill that can only be learned after years of careful study and working in a “bottega.”

4. Courgette

Couscous has come a long way since it was first made in Africa. In 2020, it will be recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage food. The process of making this simple dish is not only careful and detailed, but it is also a party in and of itself. After the cereal seeds are found, they are ground, rolled by hand, steamed, and cooked. The result is a grainy dish that can be cooked and served with meat, vegetables, or anything else you like. Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Morocco are all places that have kept the art of making couscous alive. 

5. Belgian Beer 

In 2016, Belgium’s beer culture was put on the list of things that are important to UNESCO. The country makes thousands of different kinds of beer, which are used not just for special events but also in everyday cooking. Those who have mastered the art of making beer teach beginners and other beer business owners how to do it.

6. Harissa Sauce 

Harissa is another food from Tunisia that was just added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List for 2022. It is a spice or paste made from hot and spicy peppers. It is made in a way that is similar to how we make Indian achaar. The peppers are dried in the sun, cut in half, the seeds are taken out, and then they are washed. After they have been ground into a paste, salt, garlic, and coriander are used to season them. The harissa can then be kept and used when cooking. 

7. Coffee from Arabia

 Many people think drinking coffee started in the Middle East. That’s why it wasn’t surprising that UNESCO put it on its list as early as 2015. Arab countries like the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar still make coffee the way they did in the past. Roasted Arabic coffee beans are ground into 

powder with a mortar and pestle. The powder is then heated on the ground in a copper vessel over a fire. Serving Arabic coffee to guests has been done for a long time in the area.

8. Lavash

There are many ways to make bread worldwide, but lavash is an integral part of the culture of Armenia. It was put on the UNESCO list in 2014 and back on the list in 2016 as part of a culture of making flatbread. Simple bread only has two ingredients, but it is an integral part of events like weddings and birthdays. 9. Chinese Tea: The way Chinese people make tea has been around for hundreds of years and will be added to the UNESCO list in 2022. Tea, tea farms, and sharing tea are all essential parts of Chinese culture. In China, there are mostly six types of tea: white, oolong, green, yellow, dark, and black. These six types can be made into more than 2,000 different types of tea. Tea is an integral part of many ceremonies, including weddings.

As was already said, this list is incomplete, and the UN body has also recognized a lot of other foods. The well-known Hawker market in Singapore and the Mediterranean diet are also on the list. We hope that some Indian foods and traditions will also get the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage label soon.

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