Project for the Valorisation and Promotion of the Gastronomy and Food-related Products of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, a project that aims to safeguard and divulge the richness of food culture in this region and, ultimately, to prepare Candidacy for UNESCO's List of Good Practices for Intangible Cultural Heritage.
“Gastronomy is one of the factors that value the relationship with the land, of the people who live close to the land, who know the past, the present, and the future that they aspire to. From them may come the main response to the profoundly serious challenges of our time, to which the Trás-os-Montes people's will and strength respond here. They deserve the respect and gratitude of the community of this Portuguese land we were born in.” Professor Dr Adriano Moreira (15 April 2016) at the launch of the idea of the candidacy of gastronomy and food-related products from Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which took place at the Maria Rita Restaurant, in Quinta do Romeo.
Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro is a land with resilient physical and human geography, a relatively isolated territory, but with an ancestral harmony with the cycles of nature. Here, unique practices of gathering, hunting, pastoralism, and agriculture emerged, with their own ways of cultivating, harvesting, preserving, cooking, and even eating. This is a region marked by its sense of community but also its festive nature, in communion with the seasons, the rhythms of plants and animals – from the harvest of olives and grapes to cattle raising and traditional smokehouses – and the most popular and perennial ephemeris such as Christmas or Easter, generating recipes and products based on immemorial cycles. Knowledge and flavours of excellence and high nutritional value that only exist here, because only here were these difficult and peculiar physical and human conditions generated, an inter-generational knowledge that we propose to preserve and enhance. The nomination for the UNESCO's List of Good Practices for Intangible Cultural Heritage is an integral part of the Project for the Valorisation and Promotion of the Gastronomy and Food-related Products of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro. A multifaceted work of safeguarding and projecting the richness of food culture in this region.