Italian Identity in the Kitchen, or, Food and the Nation

Italian Identity in the Kitchen, or, Food and the Nation

by Massimo Montanari
     
 

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Massimo Montanari draws readers into the far-flung story of how local and global influences came to flavor Italian identity. The fusion of ancient Roman cuisine--which consisted of bread, wine, and olives--with the barbarian diet--rooted in bread, milk, and meat--first formed the basics of modern eating across Europe. From there, Montanari highlights the importance

Overview

Massimo Montanari draws readers into the far-flung story of how local and global influences came to flavor Italian identity. The fusion of ancient Roman cuisine--which consisted of bread, wine, and olives--with the barbarian diet--rooted in bread, milk, and meat--first formed the basics of modern eating across Europe. From there, Montanari highlights the importance of the Italian city in the development of gastronomic taste in the Middle Ages, the role of Arab traders in positioning the country as the supreme producers of pasta, and the nation's healthful contribution of vegetables to the fifteenth-century European diet.

Italy became a receiving country with the discovery of the New World, absorbing corn, potatoes, and tomatoes into its national cuisine. As disaster dispersed Italians in the nineteenth century, new immigrant stereotypes portraying Italians as "macaroni eaters" spread. However, two world wars and globalization renewed the perception of Italy and its culture as unique in the world, and the production of food constitutes an important part of that uniqueness.

Columbia University Press

Editorial Reviews

Booklist

This slim volumes is a delightful excursion into the cuisine and culture of Italy.

Weight Watchers

A brief, lovely read that explores how Italians and food became synonymous.

Columbia Tribune

Montanari's small book is a treasure trove for those interested in medieval and food history.

Columbia Daily Tribune

A treasure trove for those interested in medieval and food history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231535083
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
06/18/2013
Series:
Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
File size:
2 MB

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What People are saying about this

Marta Braun

Eminently readable, fascinating, and a pleasure to read, Italian Identity in the Kitchen explains why we have always identified 'Italianness' by Italian cuisine.

Meet the Author

Massimo Montanari is professor of medieval history and the history of food at the Institute of Paleography and Medieval Studies, University of Bologna. His books include Let the Meatballs Rest: And Other Stories About Food and Culture; Cheese, Pears, and History in a Proverb; Food Is Culture; Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History; Food: A Culinary History; and Famine and Plenty: The History of Food in Europe. Beth Archer Brombert has translated many books from French and Italian, including Italo Svevo’s Senilità (Emilio’s Carnival) and Eri de Lucca’s Tu, Mio (You, Mine).

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