History of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet – from the Greek word díaita, lifestyle – is a social practice based on the set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions ranging from the landscape to the cuisine, which in the countries of the Mediterranean culture concern the crops, harvesting, fishing, conservation, processing, preparation and, particularly, consumption.

This set, recreated within and by the emblematic communities, is unavoidably linked to a seasonal calendar marked by nature and religious or ritual meanings.

First publicized in 1975 by the American biologist Ancel Keys and his wife, chemist Margaret Keys, the Mediterranean Diet as a unique lifestyle, determined by the climate and by the Mediterranean area, is also manifested through related festivals and celebrations.

These events become the receptacle of gestures of mutual recognition, hospitality, neighbourliness, conviviality, intergenerational transmission and intercultural dialogue. This is how among these communities in particular, and the Mediterranean people in general, there is a feeling of rebuilding identity, of belonging, and of continuity, allowing them to recognise this element as an essential part of their shared intangible cultural heritage.

Explore the Mediterranean Diet