NSD 452/652: Mediterranean Food & Culture: An Italian Experience
(3 credit) Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
This course will provide you with an opportunity to experience one of the most renowned cuisines in the world. What is the Mediterranean diet and why do people eat this way? How many ways can we really define the Mediterranean diet, based upon regional and cultural differences? We will investigate the historic, geographic, and socio-economic underpinnings of the Mediterranean diet. We will critique the health benefits and implications of following a Mediterranean diet. We will discuss the current dietary habits of people surrounding the Mediterranean to determine just how closely the Mediterranean diet is being followed. Once in Italy, we will experience the current Mediterranean diet from farm to table by exploring small artisan producers for cheese, olive oil and pasta. We explore the significance of local/regional production not only from a food system but also from a legislative and labeling perspective. We will work in the fields, shop for the freshest ingredients and cook authentic Italian meals. Here is a video describing the experience and trip https://ensemble.syr.edu/Watch/c2MJx34F
This course is open to any college student who has interest in the interaction between Mediterranean foods, wine, health and culture. For nutrition majors or minors, this course can often be taken as an alternative to a required Food, Culture and Environment course.
Class size is limited to 20 students. Any graduate student or advanced undergraduate student is eligible to apply. Students who enroll in this course must participate in both the Syracuse (online) and Florence portion of the program. This is not an introductory course; taking a basic nutrition class first is suggested. The Tuscany/Florence portion of the class requires a lot of walking and some vineyard field work.
Faculty Tanya Horacek, Ph.D., R.D.
Dr. Horacek is a Professor in the department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition at Syracuse University. She teaches upper level/graduate applied dietetics classes (nutrition counseling and participatory program planning). Her current research involves the development and validation of a healthy campus environmental audit and randomized treatment control trials using a non-diet approach to weight management. She has a variety of other research projects include eating competence, green eating, participatory program planning, and the effectiveness of lifestyles-oriented nutrition counseling/education. She is passionate about helping students fit a study abroad experience into their program of study. She has broadened her area of study/teaching to include sustainability and a global cultural experience via the Mediterranean Food Culture class. She spent fall 2009 semester living and teaching in Florence, lead five study abroad groups/classes over the last four years and continues to study Italian. Contact
Summer 2015 Taught online May 2015, then travel to Florence for 11 days
Online class 5/18-6/7/2015 (with trip 6/8-6/19/2015)
Tentative Itinerary Summer 2015
June 8th Monday: Arrive in Pisa
June 9th Tuesday: Transport to agriturismo La Ginestra
June 10th Wednesday: Tour/work at the agriturismo Bee keeping/ Vineyards
June 11th Thursday and sustainable garden / cooking with Italian chef/
June 12th Friday: Visit cheese production / Siena
June 13th Saturday: At La Ginestra: Walk fields /make pizza in wood/stone oven
June 14th Sunday: Transport to Florence/ walking Tour/Biologic Market/ Find it Florence competition
June 15th Monday: Visit Sant’ Ambrogio mercato/Taste of Florence tour
June 16th Tuesday: Tour Pasta factory, Olive Oil mill and vineyard
June 17th Wednesday: Guided Uffizi museum tour/ cook with Italian chef
June 18th Thursday: free day
June 19th Friday: Return to US from Pisa
ndergraduate (3 cr.) Graduate student (3 cr.)
Tuition $3,335 (estimated) $4,164 (estimated)
$1,550 (estimated) $1,550 (estimated
Total $4,885 $5,714Additional Financial Information:
We estimate that students should budget accordingly for the following expenses:
Air travel: $1,400
Books & Supplies: $200
Lunches and other meals: $400
These figures are for expenses not covered in the tuition or program fee and are paid out-of-pocket.