A cross-disciplinary, transnational and participative approach to Alpine food cultural heritage

08/01/2018 AlpFoodway, a highlight of 2018 European year of cultural heritage (EYCH)

Not only does European culture lie in world renown monuments, artifacts and artistic performances, but also in daily practices and rituals, like the ways food is produced and consumed. These traditions are all the more important, as they bind communities together building deeply rooted social identities. For this reason, the European Commission has recognized a need to preserve and enhance these cultural expressions and selected AlpFoodway as an outstanding project working toward these goals.

The project has thus been selected as highlight for the European year of cultural heritage and has been awarded the EYCH label. AlpFoodway indeed helps attain the goals of the European year of cultural heritage in that it includes an inventory of food related practices, experimentation of innovative ways to pass on traditional know how and research into how to turn food traditions into a driver for sustainable local development. Moreover, AlpFoodway works on food related cultural heritage Alp wide, with a scope never attempted before. For the first time ever a project brings together 14 partners from 6 different nations in the Alpine region, generating a number of transnational exchanges.

Ultimately, the project fosters the emergence of a shared set of Alpine cultural values related to food, building blocks of a shared Alpine identity. By doing this, it sets the bases for a future submission of Alpine food culture for recognition as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The European year of cultural heritage is established to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe's culture and traditions, and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space. It points out that culture is not something static, which is passed on unchanged from a generation to the next. In fact, culture evolves as people find their ways to cope with the changing natural, social, technological and economic environment. Our heritage, to say it with the EYCH payoff, is the place “where the past meets the future”.

AlpFoodway is one of the 3 Alpine Space projects that the European Commission chose.

AlpFoodway official website:

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