Skip to main content

U.N. adds French food and flamenco to heritage list

By Faith Karimi, CNN
Eva Yerbabuena performs Spain's most famous dance, flamenco, which has made a U.N. heritage list.
Eva Yerbabuena performs Spain's most famous dance, flamenco, which has made a U.N. heritage list.
  • Fifty-one items added to "intangible heritages" list
  • The list highlights elements that need protection amid globalization and urbanization
  • Items are from 29 countries, the U.N. agency said.

(CNN) -- A United Nations committee added Spanish flamenco and French gastronomy to a list of "intangible heritages" that need preservation, a spokeswoman for the world body said Wednesday.

The additions were among 51 items added to a list that highlights elements needing protection amid globalization and urbanization.

The items were from 29 countries, the U.N. agency said.

"The gastronomic meal of the French is a customary social practice for celebrating important moments," the agency said in a statement.

This is the first time cuisine has made the list.

"The gastronomic meal emphasizes togetherness. Important elements include the careful selection of dishes from a constantly growing repertoire of recipes... the pairing of food with wine, the setting of a beautiful table."

French food was not the only cuisine added to the list by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

It also honored the traditional Mexican meal.

"Traditional Mexican cuisine is a comprehensive cultural model comprising farming, ritual practices, age-old skills, culinary techniques and ancestral community customs and manners," the agency said. "It is made possible by collective participation in the entire traditional food chain: from planting and harvesting to cooking and eating."

Other elements added to the "intangible" list include India's Chhau dance tradition, Belgium's carnival, China's acupuncture, Colombia's Marimba music and Azerbaijan's hand-woven rugs.

Items were reviewed by a 24-member international committee at a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya

The U.N. body has honored about 200 "intangible" elements in the past seven years.

UNESCO says the list aims to protect cultural diversity and foster community loyalty.

The organization also keeps a list of the world's most treasured monuments known as the World Heritage Sites.