Cilento Mediterranean Diet: Recipes and Cilento Products

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mediterranean diet

Did you know that the Mediterranean Diet originated in Pioppi, in Cilento?

It is precisely in this well-known seaside resort that the American epidemiologist and physiologist Ancel Keys conducted studies on the Mediterranean diet for over 40 years. In 2010, Unesco recognized this diet as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Let's learn together the history, the main foods and the recipes and excellent Cilento products of this diet.

The Cilento Mediterranean Diet: A Revolutionary Discovery by Ancel Keys

Mediterranean Diet

The term "Mediterranean Diet" was coined in the 1950s by the American scientist Ancel Keys, who referred to the diet of the Cilento people and in general of the Mediterranean population which reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. After living in different parts of the world, Keys settled in Pioppi in Cilento in 1945 and was impressed by the longevity of the local inhabitants.

He therefore decided to study their eating habits and lifestyle, noting the beneficial effects of the local diet on the health of the population. From this he then drew the principles of the Mediterranean Diet that we all know. Once back in the United States, Keys continued to study and published numerous works, including the celebrated " Eat well and stay well, the Mediterranean way " in 1975.

In the 1970s, the healthy eating habits of the Mediterranean Diet of Cilento spread widely and later became a UNESCO World Heritage Site .

The secrets of the Cilento Mediterranean diet: recipes and typical products

In general, the underlying principle of the Mediterranean Diet is to adopt a balanced food style that includes a combination of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, including foods such as cereals, vegetables, fruit, fish and olive oil instead of a diet that is too rich of fats, proteins and sugars.

The foods that are part of the Cilento Mediterranean Diet include bread, pasta, vegetables, salads, legumes, fruit and dried fruit . The diet also includes a moderate consumption of fish, white meat, dairy products and eggs, while the consumption of red meat is limited. Olive oil is essential to provide the body with the right amount of fat.

Here are some of the recipes, Slow Food Presidia and products of excellence typical of the Mediterranean Diet of Cilento: the bread of Rofrano , Sanza, Caselle in Pittari or the wholemeal art bread of ancient stone-ground Cilento grains prepared with high quality flours like the carousel; Viscuotti , freselle, vicci and other leavened products; homemade pasta that gave rise to the most famous Cilento recipes such as lagane and chickpeas or cavatieddi or Felitto fusilli with meat sauce; blue fish such as the famous Menaica anchovies of Pisciotta, the main ingredient of many typical recipes such as anchovies mbuttunate, arreganate and others; legumes such as the Controne bean, the Casalbuono beans, the Maracuoccio from Lentiscosa or the chickpeas from Cicerale, which give life to delicious dishes such as the cuccìa, the maracucciata or the cicci maretati; vegetables and greens such as the White Artichoke of Pertosa, the aubergines with which the mulignane mbuttunate are prepared or the wild herbs with which tasty side dishes or savory pies are made; typical cheeses such as caciocavallo podolico , cacioricotta, buffalo mozzarella from Cilento or mozzarella "co' a mortedda"; extra virgin olive oil ; among the fruits, the delicious Cilento white figs PDO. All recipes and typical products are a pride of our land.

Celebrating the Mediterranean Diet: The Pioppi Museum

In Pioppi, the cradle of the Mediterranean Diet, a visit to the Living Museum of the Mediterranean Diet, located on the first floor of Palazzo Vinciprova, is absolutely recommended. Managed by Legambiente together with the Museo Vivo del Mare, it is part of the Ecomuseum of the Mediterranean Diet network. The museum has five exhibition halls equipped with descriptive panels and videos. A very interesting room is the one dedicated to the senses, with installations for taste, touch and smell, or the room for homemade pasta, with nice video tutorials held by Cilento housewives. In addition, the museum houses Ancel Keys' personal library. Educational workshops, Cilento cooking courses and guided tours of the paths, vegetable gardens and mills of the surrounding area are also organised.

The Pioppi Mediterranean Diet Museum is a few km from our Residence and B&B Villamirella in Palinuro, where the Brigantessa restaurant is also available , with a Cilento menu based on the Mediterranean diet. If you need a residence where you can go on holiday with children in Cilento, our studio flats or apartments or rooms in B&B in Palinuro are fully equipped to meet the needs of a family or a couple on holiday in Palinuro.

Make a request at Villamirella