Rasht Seeks ‘Gastronomy City’ Title

Rasht Seeks ‘Gastronomy City’ TitleRasht Seeks ‘Gastronomy City’ Title

Rasht, the largest city on Iran’s Caspian Sea coast, is the capital of Gilan Province. The city’s gastronomic creativity is directly linked to its rich natural surroundings and this is one of the reasons why Rasht has plans to compete for the title of ‘Creative City of Gastronomy’ organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In a meeting between Karim Sarparast, Rasht Mayor, Qunli Han, director of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office (UTCO) and UNESCO Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkmenistan, and Mohammad Reza Saeidabadi, secretary general, held at Rasht Municipality clock tower, the city’s proposal to join the gastronomy network was presented to UNESCO officials, Mehr News Agency reported.

 If the city’s membership is approved, it can help achieve sustainable development. Also membership is the first step to introduce Rasht attractions globally.

The 9th  Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) will take place in Kanazawa, Japan (designated UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art in 2009), from May 25 to 28.

Previous Creative Cities annual meetings have been held in Paris (UNESCO HQ, 2008), Santa Fe (2008), Lyon (2009), Shenzhen (2010), Seoul (2011), Montréal (2012), Bologna (2013) and Chengdu (2014). The 2016 annual meeting will be held in Ostersund, Sweden.

There are currently 69 member cities around the world in seven creative industry fields including literature, cinema, music, craft and folk arts, design, media arts and gastronomy.

At present, cities which are members of ‘Gastronomy’ are Popayan (Colombia), Chengdu (China), Ostersund (Sweden), Jeonju (South Korea), Zahle (Lebanon), Florianopolis (Brazil), Shunde (China), Tsuruoka (Japan).

 Gilan Cooking

Eating habits and culinary preparations in Gilan have several distinct characteristics. In this rice-producing region, the consumption of rice is much higher than elsewhere in Iran. Garden vegetables and kitchen herbs (sabzi) generally appear in the makeup of most dishes and give the regional cuisine the green touch that is its hallmark. These preparations are usually associated with eggs, consumed in great quantities in a society where each rural family raises hens, ducks, geese, and turkey; poultry and wildfowl and fish. Olives are also much sought-after items and contribute to the uniqueness of the local recipes.

As elsewhere in the country, cooking is a long and complex operation, since the constituent ingredients of most dishes often require individual preparation of their own. Finally, the regional style of cooking is characterized by condiments with a vinegar base and fruit juices made from unripe fruit, which are used to enhance the flavor of dishes.

 Membership Duties

Cities join the Gastronomy network for an unlimited period of time and may leave it at any moment upon notifying UNESCO. Appointed cities are entitled to use UNESCO’s name and logo under the terms and conditions of its graphic charter.

Cities have to inform UNESCO on an annual basis of the progress made in the implementation of policies and activities, both locally and internationally and in cooperation with other cities. If after two written reminders, a city does not submit this information or, if it appears that a city no longer fulfils its commitments, UNESCO may invite the city to leave the network.

After leaving the network, a city is no longer entitled to mention its membership to the network in its communication materials and may no longer use UNESCO’s name and logo.