Traditional Japanese food has been added by the United Nations cultural organization to its cultural heritage list. With this, Japanese cuisine has become the second national cuisine in the world to receive such honor.
The decision was announced by the UNESCO committee on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, in a meeting in Azerbaijan. Earlier, only French cuisine was recognized as a national culinary tradition. Moreover, the UNESCO has also recognized certain dishes from Turkey and Mexico and incorporated the Mediterranean diet at the latest meeting. The Mediterranean diet represents the tradition of sharing food, as well as eating together.
The traditional Japanese cooking is known as ‘washoku’ and includes seasonal ingredients. It is a specific style of eating which is steeped in the centuries-long tradition. The Asian country is hoping that the recognition from UNESCO will send an international message and increase efforts to save washoku at home.
Meanwhile, purists are concerned that Japanese are reluctant to dedicate their time to traditional cooking and are slowly turning to fast food. The western cuisine is becoming increasingly popular and people are leading busier lives. Masanori Aoyagi, the commissioner of Japan’s Cultural affairs Agency said that the Japanese food is low-calorie and healthy.
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