The heritage food concept and its authenticity risk factors - Validation by culinary professionals

Mohammad Almansouri, Ruud Verkerk, Vincenzo Fogliano, Pieternel A. Luning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing interest in heritage food by tourists requires a deeper understanding of its concept. A previous study conceptualised heritage food into three dimensions (i.e. legacy, people and place) and developed a framework describing the main activities in heritage food production, the connection to the identified dimensions and potential authenticity risk factors. This study aims to validate the heritage food concept and the identified authenticity risk factors in the production of heritage food dishes. Semi-structured interviews with culinary professionals of foodservice establishments in Saudi Arabia and Italy were conducted to validate the concept and evaluate the risk factors based on their professional expertise. Data were analysed by thematic content analysis using MAXQDA to infer categories describing the heritage food concept. The results indicated that the previously determined heritage food dimensions were confirmed by professionals. The identified categories ‘inheritance’ and ‘authenticity of the recipe and cooking’ corresponded with legacy, whereas the category ‘locality of ingredients’ linked to place. The category ‘knowledgeable chefs representing their culture’ is related to people. Another category ‘heritage food is subject to cultural and societal influences’ emerged which demonstrates that authenticity is not static but evolves. Most culinary chefs from both countries confirmed the earlier identified authenticity risk factors. Moreover, three new authenticity risk factors arose from the interviews including ‘adaptation to customer preference’, ‘costs of ingredients’, and ‘non-native origin of chef’. Further research is necessary to investigate how these risk factors differ among various types of foodservice establishments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100523
JournalInternational Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Authenticity risks
  • Culinary chefs
  • Culinary heritage
  • Cultural heritage
  • Hospitality industry
  • Traditional food


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