The Mediterranean diet is rooted in the history of southern Italy and the Cilento, with eating customs being handed down through the centuries from the ancient Greeks, maintained through the poverty-stricken Middle Ages and subsequently by the peasant traditions of the south.
Over the centuries, these peasant communities developed a system known as the "Mediterranean Diet", later studied and documented by US doctor Ancel Keys, who arrived in Salerno after the US 5th army corps had landed in 1944 and was struck by the healthy eating habits of people in the Cilento area, to which he subsequently moved, specifically to Pioppi-Pollica, to carry out more detailed studies on the effects that this diet has on the so-called "diseases of affluence" (hypertension, arteriosclerosis, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in general).
This led to the birth of the Mediterranean diet, based on bread, pasta, pulses, extravirgin olive oil, vegetables, a little cheese, bluefish, fruit and wine, with limited use of so-called luxury foods, like meat and cakes.
This way of eating was subsequently compared to the diets of other countries with high levels of cardiovascular disease, such as Finland, Germany and the United States, confirming the validity of the discoveries made by Dr Keys, who happily celebrated his 100th birthday on 26 January 2004.
Throughout the Cilento you can enjoy the various specialities of the Mediterranean diet, from freshly made and highly sought-after Mozzarella di Bufala Campana to all the associated derivative products, including the finest ricotta, fresh or salted, yoghurt, provola and the very rare 'mozzarella nella mortella', cheeses from the Cilento hinterland, DOP extravirgin olive oil, produced with the famous local Pisciottana olives.