Villa Cerreto

bed & breakfast holidays cilento italy
mediterranean cookery school cilento
Mediterranean Cuisine

We encourage visitors to Borgo Cerreto and even this website to remember that Mediterranean food is a combination of many things that influence health and wellbeing. It is really a whole culture of food.

food culture Food culture of the Mediterranean

Let us explain what we mean by this. A ‘food culture’ is where cooking and eating are accompanied by time spent outdoors – including but not exclusively cultivating or harvesting what is eaten - and by a clear delineation of when to work, rest and play.
These things have characterised the Mediterranean way of life for centuries.
Of course your time with us will be a holiday so our pace is relaxed, but we want you to feel the effects of a rhythmical life revolving around the land, the table and each other.
mediterranean diet The commitments we have to our families or to our work often make communal meals inconvenient, but eating together is one of the principles of the true Mediterranean dinner that we would like you to sample at Borgo Cerreto.
By this we mean appreciating good food, complementing the chefs, relaxing, recounting stories and making plans.
Sandro Dernini, the coordinator of the Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures in Rome, says the following:

The Mediterranean diet is an expression of the way of life and identity of the peoples and cultures that inhabit the region and is, therefore, a concept that goes far beyond food.

It is rather a lifestyle based on tradition, sustainability and well-being. Thus, the consumption of local seasonal products, the preparation of dishes following traditional recipes and respect for the biodiversity of the environment are the pillars of such a varied diet, recognised as one of the healthiest in the world.
This ensures the conservation of the territory and the development of traditional activities characteristic of each community.
food culture
olive oil Health benefits

Olive oil is particularly characteristic of the Mediterranean diet.
It contains a very high level of monounsaturated fats, most notably oleic acid, which epidemiological studies suggest may be linked to a reduction in coronary heart disease risk.[1]
There is also evidence that the antioxidants in olive oil improve cholesterol regulation and LDL cholesterol reduction, and that it has other anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive effects.[2]

[1] Keys, A., Menotti, A., Karvonen, M.J., et al. (December 1986). «The diet and 15-year death rate in the seven countries study,» Am. J. Epidemiol. 124 (6): 903–15.
[2] Covas, M.I., (March 2007). “Olive oil and the cardiovascular system”. Pharmacol. Res. 55 (3): 175–86.


American study

The ‘Seven Countries Study’ started in 1958 by the physiologist Dr Ancel Keys (1904 – 2004) examined the diets and eating habits of over 12,000 healthy middle aged men from Greece, Holland, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Japan and the U.S.A.
Among the men surveyed, those with active lifestyles and diets that were low in animal fats were seen to suffer less from coronary heart disease.
The lifestyles he observed in Southern Italy and Greece were found to be most demonstrative of this concept.
On the other hand the traditional diets of North American and Northern Europe possessed a high proportion of saturated fats deriving from animals.

american study When conducting his survey, Dr Keys worked out of Pioppi, a coastal village in the region of Cilento about one hour by car from your holiday destination of Borgo Cerreto.
In the towns and villages around him he observed a way of life based on physical activity and a diet in which most fats were monounsaturated, deriving from either vegetables or fish. This was complemented with large amounts of dietary fibre, a moderate consumption of red wine and a sparing use of red meat and eggs.

It is worth noting that originally people did not adopt these dietary patterns to adhere to an ideology; they simply ate what could they could afford or produce with limited means. In an agricultural society ‘physical activity’ did not mean playing sport or going to the gym but physical labour, without which they would be no money to buy food. It goes without saying that the very wealthy lived and ate differently. Although some modernisation and occupational change and has occurred in these places since Key’s time, people’s eating habits are faithful to tradition.

In Pioppi, in the province of Salerno, there is a Museum in homage to Dr Keys and the studies he performed in the region of Cilento.
It was here he lived out the last 28 years of his life, practicing the philosophy he had learned from the Cilentani and set out in How to Eat Well and Stay Well The Mediterranean Way (1975).
Scario Palinuro Golfo Policastro