FT : Everything I, an Italian, thought I knew about Italian food is wrong


photo The ingredients of cacio e pepe, gricia, carbonara and amatriciana. The idea is that the addition or subtraction of specific ingredients transforms one classic pasta dish into another © Joao Fazenda

Disrupting well established doctrines and ideologies while using available weapons …ur I mean tools such as scholars’ publications. Imagine we pursue our wanderings/wonderings and we discover Malagasy founding myths were imposed by vagues of migrations/conquests that just dominated the territories imposing the winners one-sided version of History. non mais imagine juste.

“Grandi’s speciality is making bold claims about national staples: that most Italians hadn’t heard of pizza until the 1950s, for example, or that carbonara is an American recipe. Many Italian “classics”, from panettone to tiramisu, are relatively recent inventions, he argues. Some of DOI’s claims might be familiar to industry insiders, but most are based on Grandi’s own findings, partly developed from existing academic literature. His skill is in taking academic research and making it digestible.
“It’s all about identity,” Grandi tells me between mouthfuls of osso buco bottoncini. He is a devotee of Eric Hobsbawm, the British Marxist historian who wrote about what he called the invention of tradition. “When a community finds itself deprived of its sense of identity, because of whatever historical shock or fracture with its past, it invents traditions to act as founding myths,” Grandi says.
The nation needed an identity to help it forget its past struggles, while those who had emigrated to America needed myths that would dignify their humble origins.”

I missed Dr Chantal Radimilahy’s seminar on Mahilaka and Vohemar Malagasy 1st cities from last saturday and hope they share the Youtube video online. I also would love to hear/read* her stand on the Invention of tradition in the light of today’s context regarding heritage preservation and whatever is going on with our culture.

*Cultural heritage, history and memory in the context of Madagascar, Chantal Radimilahy, 2013

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