By Aida Edemariam
In the daily barrage of conflicting health advice, one theme stands out - eat a Mediterranean diet, and you will live a longer, healthier life. The latest addition to a list that includes reductions in childhood asthma, hay fever, and Alzheimer's is a 12-year study from the US which claims that eating the Mediterranean way can halve the risk of serious lung disease.
But 21 different countries border the Mediterranean - so where exactly is this fabled diet to be found? Greece? Italy? Lebanon? Minoan Crete? Paul Gayler, executive chef at the Lanesborough Hotel in London and author of the book Mediterranean Cook, declines to be specific. If he had to choose one typical country with a typical diet? "I suppose Italy." Then he qualifies it. "Spain and Italy. Or southern France."