5 Cities Known For Their Creative Gastronomy

5 Cities Known For Their Creative Gastronomy
The picturesque city of Alba Shutterstock,
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Next time you are planning where to go for your holiday, why not look at a city that is recognised for its gastronomy and food culture?

OT Staff
October 19 , 2022
03 Min Read

The City of Gastronomy project by UNESCO is under the umbrella of the wider Creative Cities Network which was launched in 2004. The idea is to organise member cities into seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music.

Gastronomy has been recognised as an important cultural heritage, since the culinary traditions of a people represent their identity revealing their habits and customs. In order to be listed as a City of Gastronomy, certain criteria set by UNESCO have to be met. These include: a well-developed gastronomy scene that is characteristic of the urban centre and/or region, a vibrant gastronomy community with numerous traditional restaurants and chefs, indigenous ingredients have to used in cooking, there has to be a presence of traditional food markets and traditional food industry, the city must respect for the environment and promote sustainable local products. So far, there are over 290 cities in the Creative Cities list. 

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Here are some that are known for their excellent gastronomy scene.

The city of Alba in Italy is known for its vineyards. and white truffles . The town hosts an annual truffle festival and is known as the

 The snow-capped mountains around Arequipa in Peru. Foodies can visit for the delectable fare in the picanterias. These are restaurants or social spaces that serve local, traditional cuisine and contemporary modern food. They create an innovative gastronomic scene for all to experience. The menu changes every day of the week. Some Arequipa dishes that you should not miss are adobo arequipeno (pork made with chicha de jora, a corn-based fermented drink), chupe de camarões (shrimp soup with various spices), and rocoto relleno (typical Peruvian pepper that looks like bell pepper, stuffed with sauce, ground beef, and cheese). You should know that Arequipa is surrounded by volcanoes, so much of the city was built with sillar, a white volcanic stone, which led the city to earn the nickname “White City”.

Located in Victoria state, Bendigo is famous for its wineries and breweries, as well as being a producer of food, such as cheese, pears, apples, mushrooms, grains, and potatoes. Its cafe and restaurant scene is buzzing - think degustation menus with a difference featuring six courses of indigenous food representing the six annual Aboriginal seasons in Australia. It is the variety of aboriginal food culture that led to it being declared a creative city of gastronomy by UNESCO. Indigenous Australians are believed to be the world’s first bakers. In New South Wales, people have discovered grindstones dating back 36,000. These were used by aboriginals to turn seeds into flour used for baking. Incidentally, the city is built on lands that belonged to the Dja Dja Wurrung tribe, who already had a sustainable food system 40,000 years ago. 

Hyderabad, the city of Nizams, bagged the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy tag in 2019 for its distinctive cuisine which has Turkish and Iranian influences. If you have ever tasted Hyderabadi dishes like kacche gosht ki biryani, gosht ke kebab, and the famous haleem, you will know why the city is known for its food.

Bergen is the gateway to the Norwegian fjords. It has the Bryggen neighborhood which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It is dishes like wild salmon, Bergensk fiskesuppe (fish soup), and Brunost (typical brown cheese from Norway) that has earned it the UNESCO tag. Bergen is also known to follow sustainable fishing practices and produces organic food with more than 3,000 local producers. Do visit the Fisketorget Fish Market while here.

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