The Mediterranean diet involves a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions concerning crops, harvesting, fishing, animal husbandry, conservation, processing, cooking, and particularly the sharing and consumption of food. The Mediterranean diet, as a specific lifestyle harmonized with nature and its resources, is the basis of the identity of the people living in the Mediterranean. It is the result of various cultures and influences, which are continuously transmitted from generation to generation. In Croatia, as in other Mediterranean countries, Mediterranean diet is manifested in the social, symbolic and material sphere of everyday life.
In its fundamental components, the Mediterranean diet adjusts to seasonal rhythm, and includes the same basic foods (fish, green leafy vegetables, legumes, figs, olive oil, fresh herbs...) in a long period of history.
The Mediterranean diet also has a social component. It emphasizes values of hospitality, neighbourliness, intercultural dialogue and creativity, and a way of life guided by respect for diversity. It plays a vital role in cultural spaces, festivals and celebrations, bringing together people of all ages and social classes. Women play an important role in transmitting knowledge of the Mediterranean diet: they safeguard its techniques, respect seasonal rhythms and festive events, and transmit the values of the element to new generations.
In 2013 the Mediterranean diet was inscribed in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and Spain. As the areas that represent the heritage of the Mediterranean diet, Croatia has chosen the islands Brač and Hvar.