“Italian cuisine is a treasure and must be defended,” said Italian Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, according to the media. The dossier is now being forwarded to UNESCO by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. The evaluation process should be completed by December 2025 at the latest. Italian cuisine is defined in the official application dossier as a set of social practices, rituals and gestures based on numerous local knowledge. According to the dossier, this mosaic of traditions reflects the biocultural diversity of the country.
The Coldiretti agricultural association complained that many Italian recipes were distorted abroad so that the original dish was no longer recognizable. An example is the dish “macaroni and cheese” popular in the USA, i.e. pasta with a cheese sauce, which has nothing in common with the Italian pasta tradition.
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The farmers’ association described the pineapple pizza, which is particularly popular in the USA, as a “real sacrilege”. The tropical fruit could be okay as a dessert – but not as a topping. “It is therefore important to protect Italian cuisine with recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site,” stressed Coldiretti’s President Ettore Prandini.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government, which has been in office since October, is strongly committed to defending domestic food production. The Ministry of Agriculture was renamed the “Ministry of Food Sovereignty”. The government is campaigning against laboratory meat and insect meal, among other things.
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