The Mediterranean Sea is not a border, it has been a bridge between cultures for millennia, and everyone knows it abroad. At the event ‘nnumari in Sicilia we talk about Terre united by the sea and we cook using the same ingredients
Before the beginning of modern history, the Mediterranean Sea has been the center of the world, the cradle of civilization and agriculture for 6 thousand years before Christ. A sea "in the middle" of the lands that embrace it, and define it more than water itself. The Mediterranean Sea has been a source of wealth for all the peoples that face it, a bridge between cultures and trade, a resource pool. Today the Mediterranean is a danger, a border to defend, the border against those who for thousands of years have been part of the same story. But to deny what we have in common is impossible, just sit at the table.
Defend traditions by looking at the differences
Historical site of contrasts and cultural exchanges, the Mediterranean has been for centuries the Mare Nostrum, a kaleidoscopic cultural unit and of identity that today clash in the incessant search for a legitimacy, which is at the same time safeguarding specific individuality and respect for that sense of belonging wider than the Mediterranean evokes.
While globalization shuffles and uniforms, here where "globalization" has always been today there is an emphasis on the traditions, the differences, the rights of every single nation. "We are all part of the Mediterranean, we all have problems in common and we have a duty to find solutions together", however, and so the Manifesto of "numbers, guided project by chef Pino Cuttaia, 2 Michelin stars stationed in Licata, deep Sicily, with the aim of studying sustainable economic, social and environmental development models, common to all the peoples of the Mediterranean. «During the course of my career I understood how Sicily, my territory, is the fruit of the contaminations of the peoples who lived in this land. The culinary art of my territory is nothing but the fruit of these different experiences. Domination of the Greeks, Romans, Normans, Arabs, Phoenicians, up to the French and the Spanish: today, I am the legacy of all these cultures, "explains Pino. "Those similar territories, those same gestures, make me think that all those countries are not divided by the Mediterranean, they are lands united by the sea".
The "Mediterranean Cuisine" includes the kitchens of the different countries bordering the same sea, therefore Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Croatia and then down into Turkey, Syria, Israel and the Maghreb area of Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. French and Italian cuisine have assumed an identity of their own in the world and for years – but above all by their own inhabitants – they are considered cases in themselves. But the whole Mediterranean cuisine is that of the healthy Mediterranean diet, and it has much more in common than you think. When in American films we hear someone say that he goes on vacation "in Europe", it makes us smile. Yet that's exactly what we say when we leave to go "to the United States". From a distance, the distances seem inferior and the similarities are seen rather than focusing on the differences.
From abroad, with an external eye, it is much easier to see the things we have in common than the differences, and therefore olive oil, grapes, citrus fruits, use of fresh herbs, legumes and wheat, mainly of meat and fish . Cous cous and fregola, paella and risotto, macco di fave and chickpea hummus are sons of the same basic ingredients, of the same climate and of millennia of trade, migration, domination. The first time the idea appeared in a book was 1950: A Book of Mediterranean Food, written by Elizabeth David; and today recipes and lifestyles expressed by the Mediterranean have once again become a trend between cookbooks and international articles. But we do not see it, because by observing this small region of the world with the microscope, we see only the differences.
The event "numbers 2019
From 2 to 4 October 2019, on the southern coasts of Sicily, in the province of Agrigento, Mediterranean cooks, journalists, economists, fishermen, breeders, farmers, producers, artisans, fishermen, entrepreneurs and artists were summoned to the idea. that cooking and food have the ability to connect people, favoring the comparison between traditions, gestures, cultures. An annual meeting, which alongside issues such as the recovery of traditional professions as a resource for the future and the promotion of ethical behavior, has focused attention on the enhancement of the Mediterranean tradition, not as opposed to made in Italy, but as a reality of which we are a part.