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Let the Meatballs RestAnd Other Stories About Food and Culture$
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Massimo Montanari

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157339

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157339.001.0001

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“Identity” Declined in the Plural

“Identity” Declined in the Plural

(p.157) Ten “Identity” Declined in the Plural
Let the Meatballs Rest

Massimo Montanari

, Beth Archer Brombert
Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the notion of food as a fundamental instrument of cultural identity. Many have, after all, asserted their identities via the authenticities of a particular cuisine, yet food and alimentary traditions in general are continually evolving, continually shaped by history and many other factors. The authenticity with a dish respective to its region is not static, as its historical roots likely point to a variety of sources from elsewhere. Culinary traditions are frequently shaped by the dietary needs of their time, as well as the cultural and political implications thereof. Identities associated with these are likewise fluid as they construct themselves over time, leaving even the mere notions of “traditions” and “roots” moot.

Keywords:   cultural identity, cuisine, food history, historical roots, dietary needs, culinary traditions, cultural and political implications

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