Tucson Joins List of World’s Top Creative Food Cities

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has a Creative Cities Network and regularly accepts gastronomy nominations from cities.Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization added several new destinations to its Creative Cities of Gastronomy network. Winners included Bergen (Norway), Belem (Brazil), Tucson (USA), Burgos (Spain), Denia (Spain), Ensenada (Mexico), Parma (Italy), Phuket (Thailand) and Rasht (Iran).

Tucson doesn’t immediately come to mind as a global capital of gastronomy, but it is home to a growing number of innovative chefs and food nonprofits. One organization, called Native Seeds, developed a way to grow seeds in the desert. It puts the plants into shallow trenches surrounded by rocks, which maximizes rainfall. When it rains, the water falls through the rocks into the stalk of the plants. The local seed bank also boasts nearly 2,100 variations of desert-adapted foods such as chiles, shallots and garlic.