This article aims to contribute to the limited literature on traditional gastronomic knowledge concerning acorn-based bread by ethnographically documenting the ingredients, preparation techniques and consumption practices of baked goods made from acorn seeds and flour that are still used today or at least still present in living memory. A qualitative comparative case method was adopted, and ethnographic data were gathered from 67 people in six selected Mediterranean, Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The analysis highlighted distinct trajectories in the development of acorn-based bread, showing some differences in terms of ingredients, preparation techniques and baking methods in the two cultural and geographical macro-regions. By exploring the evolution of the alimentary role of acorn bread in the past century, our findings also support the hypothesis that the product, at least during the last two centuries, has mostly been used as a famine food. By acknowledging the cultural importance of acorn fruits and acorn-based products, this study suggests that the rediscovery of acorn-based products and associated traditional knowledge may foster the sustainable development of rural and marginal regions in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Central Asia. This could help to reinforce the resilience of local communities and thus increase food security. Furthermore, reassessing acorns as a foodstuff may aid in developing innovative products in line with emerging trends in the food sector, which is looking for new non-cereal-based bakery products and other novel culinary applications.

Food Security beyond Cereals: A Cross-Geographical Comparative Study on Acorn Bread Heritage in the Mediterranean and the Middle East

Musarella C. M.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

This article aims to contribute to the limited literature on traditional gastronomic knowledge concerning acorn-based bread by ethnographically documenting the ingredients, preparation techniques and consumption practices of baked goods made from acorn seeds and flour that are still used today or at least still present in living memory. A qualitative comparative case method was adopted, and ethnographic data were gathered from 67 people in six selected Mediterranean, Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The analysis highlighted distinct trajectories in the development of acorn-based bread, showing some differences in terms of ingredients, preparation techniques and baking methods in the two cultural and geographical macro-regions. By exploring the evolution of the alimentary role of acorn bread in the past century, our findings also support the hypothesis that the product, at least during the last two centuries, has mostly been used as a famine food. By acknowledging the cultural importance of acorn fruits and acorn-based products, this study suggests that the rediscovery of acorn-based products and associated traditional knowledge may foster the sustainable development of rural and marginal regions in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Central Asia. This could help to reinforce the resilience of local communities and thus increase food security. Furthermore, reassessing acorns as a foodstuff may aid in developing innovative products in line with emerging trends in the food sector, which is looking for new non-cereal-based bakery products and other novel culinary applications.
2022
balanophagy
ethnobotany
food heritage
food scouting
food security
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2022_Food Security beyond Cereals-Acorn Bread.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Article
Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 3.07 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.07 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/134307
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact