Oven-baked fish with vegetables and potatoesMost of you have heard about the Mediterranean diet and its beneficial effect on our health. What you probably did not know is that the Mediterranean diet, and especially its variations adopted by people living in Greece, Italy, Spain and Morocco, is actually on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. To be more precise, the four countries proposed a declaration to UNESCO about the Mediterranean diet, with the aim to demonstrate its diversity and raise awareness about its importance. Indeed, on the 24th of November 2010, UNESCO decided to inscribe those cultural practices and expressions of intangible heritage on the Convention’s Lists, highlighting the importance of the Mediterranean diet.

Olive oil, cereals, plenty of fresh or dried vegetables and fruit, fish and seafood, dairy products and a moderate amount of meat, as well as many spices and herbs, all accompanied by good wine or infusion drinks. The Mediterranean lifestyle, however, is not just about healthy food; rather it constitutes a set of practices and traditions, requiring skills and knowledge that are passed intact from one generation to the other, with women playing a vital role in the transmission of expertise, as well as knowledge of celebrations and techniques. Some of these practices are crop and livestock farming, harvesting, fishing, conservation, processing, preparation and consumption of food. This way of life strongly promotes social interaction, since communal meals are the cornerstone of social customs and festive events. This lifestyle is rooted in respect for the environment and the conservation of biodiversity.

All these show that a healthy diet is part of a general well-balanced way of life, where moderation and respect for nature play a key-role. Local traditions have evolved through the centuries in tight relation with the surrounding environment and have led to a lifestyle in complete harmony with it. Being in harmony with our body and soul, the people around us and nature appears to be the answer to a healthy and prosperous life.

Greek tavern with view to the seaDuring your visit in Greece, you will get to understand more about the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle and you will get the chance to taste all these dishes that are not only very healthy but also delicious. For example the famous Greek Salad or “Village Salad” as it is called in Greek, the vegetables stuffed with rice and herbs called “Gemista”, and the tastiest grilled fish and seafood you have ever tried!