How Mexican food entered UNESCO's list of Cultural Heritage of Humanity
In 2010, Mexican cuisine made it to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
What this means is that the UN is committed to protect and preserve Mexico’s culinary traditions for posterity. This is the same status that has been awarded to religious festivities, scenic arts, dances and languages in the past.
How did this happen? And why is Mexican food considered heritage of humanity? These are a few of the reasons.
The ancient factor
Ingredients like corn, peppers, and beans, were inherited from pre-Hispanic times, some of them have been used for millennia. Against all odds, these elements survived cultural colonization and the passing of the centuries, which turns them into treasures that deserved to be preserved.
The same can be said about some of the techniques, such as the use of the comal, the metate or clay pots.
The identity factor
Mexican food is very much like Mexicans themselves: colorful, extravagant, joyful and creative. Besides, the basic ingredients are originally from this land and are a fundamental part of the country’s nutrition scheme.
The diversity factor
When we say “Mexican cuisine”, we’re actually talking about a great collective of culinary traditions, full of variety and diversity: Puebla, Yucatan, Oaxaca, are only a few examples of just how different between each other regional cuisines are.
The technology factor
Ancient agricultural methods such as the milpas and the chinampas, which are still being used today, are exclusive to this land.
The exotic factor
Only in Mexico is chocolate used to cook a spicy sauce (mole). Such combinations, and ingredients like huitlacoche and a great variety of edible insects give Mexican food quite an exotic spin.
These are just a few of the many reasons why Mexican food is now considered to be Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Of course, no such title is needed to enjoy such a delicious and rich cuisine!