The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Portugal, Spain, southern Italy, southern France, Greece and specifically the Greek island of Crete, and parts of the Middle East. On November 17, 2010, UNESCO recognized this diet pattern as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco, thus reinforcing it not only as a fundamental part of their history and background, but also as a great contribution to the world. Despite its name, this diet is not typical of all Mediterranean cuisine. In Northern Italy, for instance, lard and butter are commonly used in cooking, and olive oil is reserved for dressing salads and cooked vegetables. In North Africa, wine is traditionally avoided by Muslims. In both North Africa and the Levant, along with olive oil, sheep's tail fat and rendered butter (samna) are traditional staple fats.
Contributions by Macrakis, SV Resolution, and Nirvana2013.