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"Dieta Mediterranea" from Pioppi


The so-called Dieta Mediterranea is known all over the world. What is for the most part unknown is the fact that the Mediterranean diet's origins lie in the Cilento National Park area.

 

"Dieta Mediterranea" from Pioppi


The so-called Dieta Mediterranea is known all over the world. What is for the most part unknown is the fact that the Mediterranean diet's origins lie in the Cilento National Park area.

Ancel Keys & the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet

It was at Pioppi, a fishing village in the heart of the Cilento, that Ancel B. Keys, the father of the Mediterranean diet, once settled down and developed the guidelines of this now world famous, rich and healthy dietary pattern.

Bread, pasta, fresh vegetables and fruit, cheese, fish and olive oil are favored over dairy products and meat. An, a meal is not complete without a glass of wine.

Ancel Benjamin Keys

Ancel Keys came to Italy for the first time in 1944, commissioned by the Pentagon to see to the diet of the 5th division of the US Army. In 1952, he returned to Italy and settled down at Pioppi.

It was there that he started on his "Seven Countries Study", which continued for 20 years. Keys examined the nutritional habits of 12,000 persons between 40 and 60 years of age in Japan, the USA, Yugoslavia, Greece, Germany, Finland and Italy. He found out that most of the cardiovascular and vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis and diabetes, are directly linked to nutritional habits. His book "Eat well and stay well, the Mediterranean Way" argues that the risk of cardiovascular disease increases the more you stray from a Mediterranean kind of diet.

Due to this study, the Dieta Mediterranea became a new lifestyle which was not based on cutting down meals, but on attaching value to a healthy diet. According to the Mediterranean diet, cholesterol reduction may be improved by food such as cereals, vegetables, fruit, pulse, culinary and medicinal herbs, fish, meat (mainly poultry and rabbit), oil and wine, the latter always part of the meals.

All these products and ingredients are used in the Cilento cuisine, which has hardly changed since the 1950s, a time when the local population lived solely on farming.

Ingredients of the Mediterranean diet

The Cilento landscape is strongly defined by evergreen olive trees and chestnut groves. Should you be interested in taking part in the autumn harvest, you can do so in several places. The mild olive oil meanwhile meets the top and strict quality standard "D.O.C.", more and more often even organic quality standards.

In the Cilento vegetable harvesting takes place up to four times a year. Of course, citrus fruits grow there, too; for example the lemons for the delicious limoncello liqueur. Furthermore, there are figs, which, covered with chocolate, taste delicious, nuts, mushrooms and much more.

Mention must also be made of one of the Cilento's best-known delicacies - buffalo mozzarella. The creamy-soft cheese is found mainly in the area around Paestum, where several of the buffalo farms and dairies can be visited.