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

Mattia Zocchi, Dauro and Bondioli, Camilla and Hamzeh Hosseini, Seyed and Djamel Miara, Mohamed and Maria Musarella, Carmelo and Mohammadi, Datis and Khan Manduzai, Ajmal and Dilawer Issa, Kovan and Sulaiman, Naji and Khatib, Chadi and M. Ahmed, Hiwa and Abdulsattar Faraj, Tola and Ibrahim M. Amin, Hawraz and H. S. Hussain, Faiq and Faiz, Abdullah and Pasqualone, Antonella and Heinrich, Frits and Filippo Fontefrancesco, Michele and Pieroni, Andrea (2022) Food Security beyond Cereals: A Cross-Geographical Comparative Study on Acorn Bread Heritage in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Foods, 11.

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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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: balanophagy; food security; food heritage; food scouting; ethnobotany
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QK Botany
Q Science > QL Zoology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Depositing User: ePrints deposit
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2023 13:29
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2023 13:29

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