Ingredients, cooking, serving techniques, and eating together form the foundations of the cultural identity and continuity of communities across the Silk Roads. Gastronomy provides the focus for important moments of social exchange and communication, offering an affirmation and renewal of family, group or community identity. Many tangible and intangible elements have been exchanged in the field of gastronomy and food production between the different regions and cultures along the Silk Roads. From tea, coffee or other beverages to ingredients such as spices, grains and rice, pasta and noodles, dairies, barbecue, bread, recipes and dishes. More importantly, within the social occasions and rituals surrounding the preservation and consumption of these specific foods and dishes, there have been many elements of cultural exchange between different people along the Silk Roads. Today these exchanges have resulted in shared gastronomic heritages with many similarities amongst the food traditions of the regions along the historic Silk Roads.
The Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest presents an opportunity for participants to share their images of these common gastronomic traditions and rituals as an integral part of our daily lives along the Silk Roads.