UNESCO on Thursday added Tunisia’s spicy and most famous national condiment Harissa to its list of intangible cultural heritage, saying it was part of the North African country’s identity.
Thursday, UNESCO placed the Tunisian condiment Harissa to its list of intangible cultural heritage, citing its significance to the identity of the North African nation.
The cultural agency of the United Nations is meeting in Morocco to consider proposals for its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which strives to safeguard cultural traditions, practices, and knowledge.
It tweeted on Thursday, “Just inscribed on the #IntangibleHeritage List: Harissa, knowledge, skills, and culinary and social practices.”
Tunisia’s Spicy Harissa
Harissa is a paste made from sun-dried hot peppers, freshly prepared spices, and olive oil, which preserves and slightly tones down its intensity. It is served in nearly every restaurant in Tunisia and is also exported internationally.
The condiment is wonderfully spicy, smoky, and packed with rich, deep flavors. It’s also extremely versatile, as it pairs well with sandwiches, different dishes, and even plain olive oil.
Similar Read: Tunisian Cuisine — Mentality, Spirit & Character
Harissa is “an integral part of domestic provisioning and the everyday culinary and dietary traditions of Tunisian culture,” according to Tunisia’s application for the status. It is typically cooked by families and communities.
“Harissa is used as a condiment, an ingredient, and even as a dish in its own right, and is well-known throughout Tunisia, where it is consumed and manufactured, particularly in the regions where chilli peppers are farmed,” the source explained.
It is regarded as a distinguishing part of national culinary heritage and a role in social cohesiveness.
The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Legacy seeks to protect and increase awareness of the “intangible cultural heritage of the communities, groups, and individuals involved.”
UNESCO emphasizes that the list recognizes traditions, practices, and knowledge as “human treasures” that must be safeguarded.
Wednesday, the organization also recognized French baguettes, bringing the total number of goods on the list to over 530.
Suggested Read: 7 Things You Didn’t Know about Tunisian Food
And if you liked this article, sign up for the monthly features newsletter. A handpicked selection of stories from Carthage Magazine, delivered to your inbox.