City of Gastronomy

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Ver-o-peso Market in Belém

UNESCO's City of Gastronomy project is part of the wider Creative Cities Network. The Network was launched in 2004, and organizes member cities into seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music.[1]

Criteria for Cities of Gastronomy[edit]

To be approved as a City of Gastronomy, cities need to meet a number of criteria set by UNESCO:[2]

  • Well-developed gastronomy that is characteristic of the urban centre and/or region;
  • Vibrant gastronomy community with numerous traditional restaurants and/or chefs;
  • Indigenous ingredients used in traditional cooking;
  • Local know-how, traditional culinary practices and methods of cooking that have survived industrial/technological advancement;
  • Traditional food markets and traditional food industry;
  • Tradition of hosting gastronomic festivals, awards, contests and other broadly-targeted means of recognition;
  • Respect for the environment and promotion of sustainable local products;
  • Nurturing of public appreciation, promotion of nutrition in educational institutions and inclusion of biodiversity conservation programmes in cooking schools curricula.

Cities submit bids to UNESCO to be designated, which reviewed every four years.

About the cities[edit]

Tea house in Chengdu

The first City of Gastronomy was Popayán,Colombia, designated in 2005. It hosts an annual National Gastronomic Congress of Popayán.[3]

Chengdu, China, is the capital of Sichuan and Sichuanese cuisine, one of the most popular types of cuisine in China. The city is the birthplace of numerous dishes, including mapo doufu and dan dan noodles, and has a distinct and vibrant tea house culture.

Bergen, Norway, is a port city with a long history in seafood trade. Local gastronomy thrives on organic food. Bergen hosts the world’s largest conference on seafood, the North Atlantic Seafood Forum Conference, and is also home to the Centre of Expertise for Sustainable Seafood and the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research.[4]

Rasht, Iran, represents Iranian cookery. The dominant foods are various types of fish. The region is famous for several distinctive dishes as well as the typical cooking method in Gamaj clay pots.[5][6]

Tucson, Arizona, USA, has been selected because of "region's rich agricultural heritage, thriving food traditions, and culinary distinctiveness".[7] Tucson is well known for its Sonoran-style Mexican food.[8][9]

Alba, Italy, is famous for its white truffles and vineyards. The city is referred to as the White Truffle Capital and holds an annual Truffle Festival. Alba also played the key role in the creation and development of the Slow Food movement.[10]

Bergamo, Italy, is famous for its history of cheese making, renowned for its award-winning and famous cheese products, as well as other forms of traditional food production. Bergamo has also advocated for greater sustainability in food production and support of its farmers and traditional methods of agriculture.[11]

Macau, an autonomous region on the south coast of China, represents a unique blend of Cantonese and Portuguese influence in culinary arts. An example is African chicken, a dish which includes Asian ingredients next to peri-peri peppers brought from Mozambique by Portuguese explorers. The city holds Macao Food Festival and other food-related events.

Belém, Brazil, a territory of which 65% is situated across 39 islands, provides diversity of local food products such as seafood, açaí, cocoa and pupunha. The city has a famous historic food market, Ver-o-Peso, where food-related events are held.[12]

Three additional Brazilian cities are also designated as Cities of Gastronomy: Florianópolis, Belo Horizonte, and Paraty. Florianopolis was designated due to its hosting of annual food festivals and its oyster industry; Belo Horizonte because of its coffee industry and the mixing of various cultures that flocked to the city influencing its cuisine, and Paraty because of the blending of Portuguese, Indigenous, and African cultures leading to the creation of some of Brazil's most famous cuisine such as paçoca and farofa-de-feijão and its history in making of cachaça.

Hyderabad, India, the capital of Telangana state, shows the flourishing of two of India's most famous cuisines-- Hyderabadi and Telugu cuisine—and the resulting fusion and blending of them in Hyderabad. As a result, Hyderabad is famous for dishes that show the influences of both cultures, such as Hyderabadi biryani, Hyderabadi haleem, murtabak, upma, dosa, and avakaya. Events and festivals such as Ramzan and Bathukamma promote and cultivate the city's unique and diverse gastronomic culture.[13]

Cities of Gastronomy[edit]

There are 50 Cities of Gastronomy. Twelve countries have more than one designated city. China has five if Macao is included, Brazil and Turkey both have four, Italy has three Cities of Gastronomy, while Australia, Colombia, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and United States have all two entries on the list.

The Cities of Gastronomy are:[14]

City Country Year of Inscription
Afyonkarahisar  Turkey 2019[15]
Alba  Italy 2017
Arequipa  Peru 2019[15]
Belém  Brazil 2015
Belo Horizonte  Brazil 2019[15]
Bendigo  Australia 2019[15]
Bergamo  Italy 2019[15]
Bergen  Norway 2015
Bohicon  Benin 2021
Buenaventura  Colombia 2017
Buraidah  Saudi Arabia 2021
Burgos  Spain 2015
Chengdu  China 2010
Cochabamba  Bolivia 2017
Dénia  Spain 2015
Ensenada  Mexico 2015
Florianópolis  Brazil 2014
Gaziantep  Turkey 2015
Hatay Province  Turkey 2017[16]
Huai'an  China 2021
Hyderabad  India 2019[15]
Jeonju  South Korea 2012
Kayseri  Turkey 2022
Kermanshah  Iran 2021[17]
Kuching  Malaysia 2021[17]
Lankaran  Azerbaijan 2021
Launceston  Australia 2021[17]
Macao  China 2017
Mérida  Mexico 2019[15]
Östersund  Sweden 2010
Overstrand Hermanus  South Africa 2019[15]
Portoviejo  Ecuador 2019[15]
Panama City  Panama 2017
Paraty  Brazil 2017
Parma  Italy 2015
Phetchaburi  Thailand 2021
Phuket  Thailand 2015
Popayán  Colombia 2005
Rasht  Iran 2015
Rouen  France 2021
Saint-Petersburg  Russia 2021
San Antonio  United States 2015
Santa Maria da Feira  Portugal 2021
Shunde  China 2014
Thessaloniki  Greece 2021[17]
Tsuruoka  Japan 2014
Tucson  United States 2015
Usuki  Japan 2021[17]
Yangzhou  China 2019[15]
Zahlé  Lebanon 2013

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Creative Cities Network".
  2. ^ "The Creative Cities Network" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-12-07.
  3. ^ "Visit Colombia". Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Bergen. About the Creative City". Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Rasht. About the Creative City". Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Food in Rasht, Creative City of Gastronomy". Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Visit Tucson". Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  8. ^ Alpers, Jackie. "Welcome to Tucson: 10 Must-Try Mexican-Inspired Dishes" Archived April 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Food Network. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Arellano, Gustavo (March 6, 2018). "Why Doesn't Tucson's Mexican Food Scene Get More National Attention?" Archived March 28, 2018, at the Wayback Machine WAMU. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  10. ^ "Alba. About the Creative City". Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Bergamo | Creative Cities Network". Retrieved 2022-05-05.
  12. ^ "Belém. About the Creative City". Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Hyderabad | Creative Cities Network". Retrieved 2022-05-05.
  14. ^ "creative cities map | Creative Cities Network". Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "UNESCO designates 66 new Creative Cities". 30 October 2019. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  16. ^ "UNESCO Türkiye Millî Komisyonu". Retrieved 13 October 2022.
  17. ^ a b c d e "New cities join UNESCO's Creative Cities Network". UNESCO. 2021-11-05. Archived from the original on 2021-11-23. Retrieved 2021-12-16.

External links[edit]