Randopat-Heritrail - Mushrooms, Herbs and Raw Food; Practices and Beliefs

The West University of Timișoara, the Cultural Heritage Research Hub of UNITA Universitas Montium and the Research Center for Heritage and Anthropology at the West University of Timișoara


7-11 NOVEMBER 2022


The event is part of the activities involving exchanges of best practices between the partner universities of the UNITA alliance. Aimed at both students, at Master and doctoral level, as well as academics with an interest in intangible cultural heritage, this program strengthens the research network developed within the fourth work package of the UNITA project. It is concerned with sharing theoretical knowledge related to food practices in the local region of the Banat and with developing practical skills (doing fieldwork and guidance) in the target group.

The thematic school on intangible cultural heritage draws on local and regional practices and beliefs associated with food production and preparation in connection with the natural environment.

Food is an important component of cultural heritage, with all its derived forms of manifestation (knowledge about the environment and about nature, time management, being part of traditional activities and celebrations) and is more and more becoming a matter of personal choice. Local and regional communities have their own traditions, practices and techniques related to producing and preparing various dishes. Observing these activities can be an ideal training for students who want to learn about the valorization and capitalization of cultural heritage.

For most regions in Romania, food which is obtained directly from nature is essential, and so is the consumption of herbs and vegetables, whose cultivation is one of the most important activities in the farmers’ families. In this way, traditional knowledge is shared between aspects that are accessible to everyone (such as the rhythms of planting, growing and picking various plants), and the information which is controlled only by small or isolated communities, respectively information which is accessible only to a few connoisseurs: picking mushrooms, mushroom varieties, their preparation; knowledge of herbs with therapeutic and/or culinary utility; knowledge of fruits, their cultivation, use and preparation etc.