As the American Foreign Press reported on Monday, Carlo Petrini has rejected the French call for their gastronomy to be preserved on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, saying “it was wrong to try to rank world cuisines.”
His problem with this request is not that French gastronomy isn’t worthy of preservation, but rather that ALL gastronomy is worthy of preservation, so why prioritize? As he said: “Every nation has its gastronomical language, closely linked to its own culture and all those culinary traditions need to be preserved.”
Over at The Grinder, at Chow.com, they question UNESCO even bothering itself with stuff like this at all. An historic building is a pretty straightforward thing to aim to preserve, but how about a culture, a gastronomy? Maybe too ephemeral?