The intangible cultural heritage of food in Europe is an enormous yet underestimated resource; it is largely used to promote tourism but hardly ever treated as a resource that can reinforce social integration, a sense of belonging to a common European space and identity. Public awareness of the origins and history of traditional foods, traditional processing and farming techniques, of religious rites and festivals is key to narrating our common European roots as well as the influences of centuries of migration.
The Food is Culture project aims to make European citizens aware that their food heritage is a way of expressing their belonging to Europe, and to better understand the richness and uniqueness of its cultural diversity. Attention needs to be paid to safeguarding and promoting our shared food heritage: this work has been implemented for years by Slow Food through its global catalogue, the Ark of Taste, a compendium of disappearing local food heritage both within Europe and beyond, a catalogue that will inspire and enrich the artwork content of the project. The main activities include a multimedia artwork—which combines contributions from artists and travels around Europe—a call to action aimed at chefs and school students, the creation of a human library with migrant stories and a call to EU and national institutions to give the safeguarding of European gastronomic cultural heritage a higher priority in their political agendas.
The EU policy brief on food & cultural heritage examines the current EU policy context and gives recommendations for possible policy improvements to achieve greater coherence between cultural, food and agricultural policies:
The Food is Culture project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, with the contribution of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo.
Project partners: Slow Food, Europa Nostra, Kinookus, Nova Iskra Creative Hub, Transpond AB.