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09/07/2010

Mexico's cuisine wins UNESCO honor: intangible cultural heritage of humanity

IMG_0142_2  A little over a month ago, a Mexican official announced that the nation’s cuisine has finally attained status by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The official announcement comes in early November in Nairobi, Kenya. But in short, the incredible variety of Mexican food is finally receiving its due. No other nation’s food has been given this honor.

Now, get this: France has been rejected twice! The last time France applied, in 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy declared that, said, “We have the best gastronomy in the world — at least from our point of view. We want it to be recognized among world heritage.” 

Well, France must now play catch-up with Mexico, amigos.

Like the Giza Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower, Machu Picchu and other world wonders, Mexican food with its indigenous influences is getting serious recognition.

For many years, the U.N. agency rejected Mexico’s application, which focused on the use of corn in the national diet dating back some 7,000 years. After all, as the expression goes, Mexico is corn, corn is Mexico. According to the Mayan creation story known as the Popul Vuh, humans were created from corn. This year, Mexico broadened its application to include basic staples other than corn, such as beans, squash, chile and agave.

In honor of the designation, I did a short search of interesting blogs on Mexican food. Here is a subjective list of what I found interesting. I liked Mexico Cooks!, The Mija Chronicles, DavidLida and GoodFoodMexicoCity. Part of what I liked about them is that they are not just recipes but explorations of restaurants, history of food and other subjective and passionate explorations of eating in Mexico. For blogs that contain more recipes, try MexicanFoodie and RanchoGordo. An interesting Spanish language food blog is De Harina y de Maiz. Please send in other suggestions.

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Mexico Traveler

Wow. France rejected, Mexico given UNESCO status.

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Tim

This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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