Flavors and colors of an ancient land


Mediterranean Diet is a project that the Chamber of Commerce of Syracuse together with another ten Chambers of Commerce from southern Italy are participating in, that promotes and showcases the history, culture and eno-gastronomic traditions of the province of Syracuse, in an integrated vision with the territories’ resources.

An important project because it exploits the eno-gastronomic traditions beginning with a thorough research of antique recipes, strongly linked with the rhythms of the countryside, of family life, of the holidays that punctuate the year.

The eno-gastronomic traditions have roots that are embedded in the past, but with a sedimentation that through the various generation – from grandmother to mother, mother to daughter – reach us today and fascinate and charm us with tastes and flavors of another era. All things considered, this project is also a cultural project, since the eno-gastronomic excellences are fruit of traditions, they are the results of the meeting of peoples – Sicily over the centuries has known Arab, French and Spanish dominations – and the excellences are born from the fusion, comparisons, culture, Mediterranean traditions, antique know how, and lost flavors, that reemerge and make reality a complex story. A project of appreciation of the eno-gastronomic traditions like Mediterranean Diet enhances history but at the same time gives meaning to the future, rooted in the region and in its resources, in a way that the products of the earth are able to express the story, the culture, the force of a territory.

The project Mediterranean Diet takes on another meaning in the Syracuse area, land of cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil – internationally awarded – from the Nero and almonds of Avola, Moscato of Syracuse and honey from Sortino. All this in a territory that’s home to three Unesco sites.

In fact the region of Syracuse has important potentialities and maybe the most important is the wide variety of products: from oil of the highest quality to wine, blood oranges, lemons and honey. All this produce represents our agricultural traditions, but at the same time also an economic opportunity since the production of these products are becoming more and more quality orientated. And the quality is the fruit not only of the production techniques, but also the ability of the product to reflect the culture, the relationship with the territory, the wisdom of the man who produced it.

Also of importance are the implications of the project Mediterranean Diet with tourism in our area: if the agro-alimentary is one of the fundamental factors for the development of the area, tourism – which has modernized in recent years and still has an enormous potential – constitutes the privileged “place” where the eno-gastronomic tradition of quality has to be exploited, promoted and commercialized.

The integration between tourism, culture, territory and quality agro-alimentary production constitutes an authentic leading edge for the local productive system. A tourism that is more attentive of the territory and its history, that abandon the “eat and run” model that’s still present and evolves towards a visitor-traveler relationship with the people from the areas visited. If tourism becomes an encounter between people, then food is the most potent cultural vehicle and the most effective relationship builder. Moreover, in Sicily, in the region of Syracuse, there is another winning factor: the hospitality and warmth of the people. Perhaps because of the many dominations over the past centuries, the Sicilian people are welcoming and the island in the middle of the Mediterranean is always ready to accommodate: the ability of welcoming guests is a true distinguishing factor of competitiveness.

And the world – today more then ever, in a globalization context and almost without identity, with a global financial crisis going on – needs an economy that restarts with people, work, with the culture and the territory.