Slovenia is the first country in Europe to receive the title European Region of Gastronomy, previously only various regions within individual countries have received it. The candidates and the already awarded European Regions of Gastronomy all around Europe are making efforts under the leadership of the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) to raise awareness of one’s own culture and gastronomic uniqueness as well as pursuing long-term goals: raising the quality of life in European regions, stressing the features of culinary and gastronomic cultures, raising the awareness of people concerning the significance of food for health, raising standards in tourism, and promoting creativity and innovativeness in gastronomy.
Coimbra (ERG 2021)
This is a region in central Portugal known for its incredible geographic diversity. It is home to 460,000 people. The first schools in Portugal were built in Coimbra and it is still the most important university city today. The region’s agricultural area covers more than 45,000 hectares of land and has 16,692 farms. The gastronomy in Coimbra is a combination of the best that the sea, rivers, and land have to offer.
Kuopio (ERG 2020)
Kuopio is among the leading dynamically growing regions in Finland. It is a major meat-processing and dairy region in the country. The quality of the milk from Kuopio is one of the best in the EU. World-class knowledge and diverse natural resources offer excellent possibilities for developing new products and services. The timber and food industries are the most important traditional industries in the region. Tourism also plays an important role for the region’s economy, as it provides many jobs for the local population.
Sibiu (ERG 2019)
Sibiu is located in southern Transylvania, a unique cultural and natural landscape. This region, which includes the city of Sibiu and its surrounding area, stands out due to its excellent heritage and traditions. The former European Capital of Culture is now specifically focused on its cultural life. Gastronomy, which is one of the region’s main attractions, plays an important role in shaping the region as a successful tourist destination.
South Aegean (ERG 2019)
The South Aegean is one of Greece’s thirteen regions. It consists of the Cyclades and Dodecanese island groups in the central and south-eastern Aegean Archipelago. The administrative centre of the region is Ermoupoli, which is located on the Island of Syros. The region is divided into 13 regional units shaped around its major islands: Andros, Kea-Kythnos, Syros, Thira (Santorini), Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Tinos, Paros, Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos, and Karpathos. With a population of 308,610, each island is a separate story with its own historical background, culture, a unique geophysical environment, and gastronomic identity.
Galway – West of Ireland (ERG 2018)
This unique region located on the Atlantic coast on the very edge of Europe is a place with unique natural beauty spots, rich land and sea, and a young and culturally diverse population. The region, which has more than 12,000 farms, 689 kilometres of coastline, and 52 islands, provides food for 1.5 million people and is capable of feeding nearly ten times its own population.
North Brabant (ERG 2018)
The once completely agriculturally focused Dutch region of North Brabant now has five major cities which create a mosaic of highly-developed industry and wonderful rural landscapes and is thus synonymous with entrepreneurship, cooperation, and innovativeness.
Aarhus-central Denmark (ERG 2017)
The 1.26 million people living in the region of East Jutland account for approximately 23% of Denmark’s population. It is the second largest area after Copenhagen and it consists of 17 municipalities. It is home to large energy, food, and health care companies. It is also home to the dynamic, second largest city in Denmark, Aarhus.
East Lombardy (ERG 2017)
Lombardy, which is home to almost 10 million people, is located in north-western Italy. It boasts nine renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is the wealthiest Italian region, the economic development of which reflects the diversity of its economic areas. Agriculture and livestock farming as well as various types of industry and services are well-represented.
Riga – Gauja (ERG 2017)
Riga is the capital of Latvia and its 637,971 people also makes it the largest city in the Baltic region. It is the political, economic, and cultural centre of the country. It is located on both banks of the River Daugava, which flows into the Gulf of Riga. It is this mighty river that has allowed Riga to remain an important port city for centuries. The old town centre, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is particularly interesting.
Catalonia (ERG 2016)
Catalonia, which consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona, is located in north-eastern Spain. Its capital city of Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain. Catalan cuisine has been nominated for inscription among UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage. The essence of Catalan cuisine are the quality and uniqueness of the ingredients used and the combination of the best that both land and sea have to offer.
Minho (ERG 2016)
The Minho region with more than 1.1 million people is located in north-western part of Portugal, in the confluence of the Rivers Douro and Minho. They call it the ‘green garden’ of Portugal for a reason. Green is everywhere: in magnificent eucalyptus forests, on gentle hills, in fields, meadows, and in its famous green wine. The region is very rich in water.