In 2010, food was first listed on UNESCO's intangible Cultural Heritage List with the entry of the Mediterranean diet, French gastronomic cuisine, Michoacán cuisine, and Croatian gingerbread. The interest for Nordic cuisine and its techniques, ingredients and dishes has risen in recent years. The project will take a closer look at how a revitalization of our culinary heritage can be used in business development and value creation. The project's goal is to showcase our diverse food and drink culture in innovative and exciting ways, and stimulate better interaction between traditions and new impulses. Our hypothesis is that the culinary heritage has great potential in product and service development, can be a resource in terms of identity creation, brand building and marketing of the food nation Norway. Through our domain Foodnation.no, we will develop a platform for disseminating user-oriented research, knowledge and methodology that will contribute to increased production and use of food and drink based on local, land-based resources. The field work will be done in rural settlements with different topography and natural environment: mountain, forest and flat settlements. We will especially focus on grain, dairy, berries, fruit, vegetables, meat and inland fish. The consortium consists of 4 Norwegian and 3 foreign research institutions, and 20 partners representing the entire value chain. To succeed, we have put together a transdisciplinary consortium that will work at the interface between research, business development, gastronomy and dissemination. Our approach will combine top-down effects represented by leading chefs, developers and other key people with "bottom-up" activities represented by cutting-edge producers and providers. Our theory is that Norway's food history is an under-researched, under-utilized & under-communicated field that could contribute to a significant increase in value creation and employment in land-based food and beverage industries.
FoodLessons explicitly targets the agricultural policy goals of increasing Norwegian food production and competitiveness, as well as developing Norway as a food nation. Our goal is to research and disseminate culinary heritage in a manner that mobilises innovative thinking and knowledge and business development initiatives in land-based food and beverage industries. We will do this by investigating how culinary heritage can be of relevance and value in current and future food production and consumption (WP1). Innovative communication strategies will be designed to increase knowledge about and use of old practices, techniques, ingredients and dishes (WP2); multisensory experiments will form a basis for understanding and developing Norwegian gastronomy experiences (WP3); innovative museum activities and menus communicating the richness and relevance of Norwegian agricultural and food history for the present and the future will be studied (WP4); and the possibilities of developing culinary tourism will be identified (WP5). All in all, the project’s WPs will form a solid foundation for providing input to the Government’s priority areas in the development of Food Nation Norway. By way of conclusion, we will submit the policy document summarising the results of the project (WP6).
FoodLessons will be sustained by research conducted by a transdisciplinary team of leading researchers and experts in the field. The consortium will work at the intersection between research, business development, gastronomy, marketing and knowledge dissemination. Fieldwork will be conducted in inland villages with different topographies. Furthermore, mapping, literature analyses, multisensory experiments, interviews with key players and consumer analyses will be conducted. Our point of departure is that our food history is an under-researched and underused field that will be able to contribute to a significant increase in value creation and employment in land-based food and beverage industries.