Karima Moyer-Nocchi: Italian Foodways and the Myth of Authenticity

Karima Moyer-Nocchi: Italian Foodways and the Myth of Authenticity

Pasta. Olive oil. Polenta. Much of Italian cuisine today has come to be defined by staples like these and their associated dishes (with strict recipes and rules to boot!). Yet how did we arrive at these ideas? Karima Moyer-Nocchi is a food historian who looks at the development of the Italian culinary landscape. She discusses how the traditions of “authentic Italian cuisine” are more cultural invention than fact, revealing that beliefs about authenticity erase—rather than enrich—the stories of what people cooked and ate across modern Italian history. Also, a word on immigration in Roman history, and the possible (in)coherency of the Mediterranean Diet.

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