iHERITAGE Portugal fieldwork reinforces the value of the Mediterranean Diet through a Series of Interviews in Tavira


The Portuguese iHERITAGE team from Univeristy of Algarve is currently navigating through the cultural elements of Tavira, whose cultural heritage element is the Mediterranean Diet. Following this framework and as part of the iHERITAGE project, the main goal for the Portuguese team is to promote and enhance the Mediterranean UNESCO cultural heritage through innovative experiences by creating cross-border living labs for research and innovation.

Currently fieldwork activities of the Portuguese iHERITAGE Team navigates through the cultural elements in Tavira, mainly focusing on the olive oil activity, with a detailed presentation of the manufacturing process, as well as its didactic interpretation and dissemination about the protection and conservation of Mediterranean research. The methodological approach in the field is being developed through contextual inquiries and interviews of the local community while also collecting a photography and video archive to capture moments of true hospitality, southern scenery and inquiry.

In July, the iHERITAGE Portugal team conducted a series of interviews in Santa Catarina oil mill in the municipality of Tavira. Located in Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo, the olive oil stands out as the main character in the Portuguese parish; In this interview the owner, Renato Rocha, passionately explains the history of the mill, the purpose of each room and the extraction process, step by step, from the harvest of the olives to the bottling of what is considered one of the best natural food juices

This story cover the families that perpetuated the activity, the means to produce this sacred oil, the businesses that derive from the fruit of the land to traditional sweets and liqueurs, the restaurants and their dishes bathed in the flavour that originates so much narrative! And so, the journey of olives and olive oil reveals a line that runs through the Algarve mountains and ends up in the sea.

The iHERITAGE project aims to support the technological transfer and commercialisation of new Augmented and Virtual Reality tools to enhance access to Mediterranean UNESCO cultural heritage through augmented and immersive experiences by creating cross-border living labs for research and innovation.

Represented by the University of Algarve, the focus of the Portuguese team is to promote the Mediterranean Diet and its importance for the cultural identity of the Mediterranean. The iHERITAGE ICT Mediterranean platform for UNESCO world heritage is a strategic project funded by the EU through the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme.