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Cyprus Food and Nutrition Museum

The Cyprus Food and Nutrition Museum (henceforth CFNM) is a non-profit Cultural and Research association, whichundertakes initiativesand activitiesto promote the study, preservation and dissemination of knowledge on the Cypriot gastronomical culture.The aforementioned activities stem from and revolve around an innovative digital cultural collectiondeveloped by highly skilled academics and researchers. Since 2008, this group of experts carries through the task of compiling and digitizing information pertaining to the subject of Cypriot gastronomy over the centuries. The recorded information iscategorized based on a specific classification schema, and is then incorporatedin a digital data depository related to theCypriot food culture and history, called the Cyprus Food Virtual Museum (http://foodmuseum.cs.ucy.ac.cy/). Within the latter, the end user may findhigh quality information, such as texts, photos, videos and other multimedia, which relates to Cypriot traditional food and associated everyday practices, recipes, tools, and processing techniques from the prehistoric timesup to the present. This depository is the first of its kind in Europe and it is designed to be hosted online, so that it can be freely accessed and (re)used by individuals or specific groups interested in Cypriot gastronomy and culture, such as researchers, academics, food professionals, educators, tourist agents, and even governmental departments.

The members of theCFNM come from various scientific disciplines and professional fields: Food Scientists, Nutritionists,Historians, Food Editorsand Journalists, Computer Scientists,Museologists, Museum Educators, Teachers, Academics, and Chefs. Differences in offered expertise guaranteethe multidisciplinary approach needed for the effective management of cultural resources and the development of wide-ranging activities.

During the past few years the CFNM has been actively involved in reinforcing the traditional foods sector in Cyprus. Since its establishment, the association has been organizing events, which aim to highlight and promote the activities and products of women’s groups involved in traditional foods production. The CFNM, in collaboration with local partners, is currently organising seminars that will target small-scale food producers,covering themes such as:1. Product quality certification and health control procedures, 2. Technology, networking, marketing and branding, 3. Funding sources and application procedures, and 4. Alternative food and drink production-distribution chains.

The Cyprus Food and Nutrition Museum has organized and hosted:
  • Workshops among adults on traditional cuisine
The workshops were held in 2014, in collaboration with the Americanos College. They combined theory and practice on four topics (pastries, main dishes, desserts and pies).
  • Annual national contests among children and youth on traditional cooking
The contests were organized annually between 2013-2015, in collaboration with the University of Nicosia. Their aim was to promote the recording and revival of old, forgotten recipes and to promote the dissemination of knowledge on traditional diet among youths.
  • A national contest on traditional foods photography
From February to March 2014, the CFNM held a national contest, which revolved around documenting traditional Cypriot foods and production processes through photography.
  • Seminars
In the framework of various activities and projects, the CFNM organized, held or otherwise supported open educational seminars and lectures, which informed the public on various subjects of Cypriot gastronomy (i.e. Cyprus wines, the halloumi cheese etc.). 
  • Gastronomical tours
In 2016 the CFNM organized a series of gastronomical tours both for Cypriots and foreigners. The tours explored several themes related to the Mediterranean diet, and they included visits to museums and food and drink production units, tastings, workshops etc.
  • Research projects
  • Several CFNM research projects have pushed the boundaries of knowledge on Cypriot gastronomical culture. Such projects revolved around Cypriot street food, traditional recipes, the Cypriot cuisine material culture, Cypriot agricultural products such as wine and carobetc. Employed methods included archival research, museum based studies,and surveys dedicated to the recording of oral testimonies.
  • National Conferences on Cypriot traditional cuisine/foods
  • In 2014 the CFNM organized the first national conference on Cypriot traditional dietq in 2017 the first national conference on Cyprus wine and in 2019 will organize a national conference for traditional dairy products.
  • Food photography exhibitions
In 2014 and 2016 the CFNM held two photography exhibitions on traditional Cypriot gastronomy and street food in Cyprus from the past to the present.
  • Educational workshops for small and medium scale food producers.
In the framework of the project “Empowering Cypriot Small-Scale Food Producers” (co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund) the CFNM has undertaken the implementation of a training workshops series that will address small-scale producers needs in acquiring managerial, marketing and financial support. The project’s aim is to reinforce the small-scalefoods sector in Cyprus, increase its competitiveness, and promote entrepreneurship at grassrootslevel based on FAO and EU good practices.
 
The association has also participated in various folklore festivals.
A short presentation on the profile and activities of CFNM is available here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwEVUV5OvaA


http://foodmuseum.cs.ucy.ac.cy/
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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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