This headline in the NY Times yesterday captured my attention instantly and introduced a very thought-provoking topic: should UNESCO World Heritage Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage be able to include a country's unique gastronomy? France is having a go at it and they just see themselves as pioneers in getting UNESCO to recognize and protect unique local specialties and rare breeds all over the world. Above are Guy Savoy, who wants to preserve French culinary traditions, and traditionally smoked garlic from Arleux.
Read it and tell me what you think.
This had me thinking of the Slow Food movement, which has been doing just that for years now with their Ark project, and I found it peculiar that this didn't come up at all in this article. But I applaud the journalist Elaine Sciolino for the piece and especially for her quoting the guy who quoted 19th-century food writer Brillat-Savarin who wrote that, “The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.”
I just plain adore that man, not only for writing one of the BEST books ever written on food, but also because it was through the English translation of that book that I became acquainted with the woman who I believe has written even better books on food than he or anyone else has, the infinitely wise and wonderful M.F.K. Fisher. If by some chance you haven't discovered her yet then I will consider myself honored to be the one to introduce you. Bon courage!