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Italian Identity in the Kitchen, or Food and the Nation$
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Massimo Montanari

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160841

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160841.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 13 June 2021

Macaroni-eaters

Macaroni-eaters

How a National Stereotype Arose

Chapter:
(p.41) Macaroni-eaters
Source:
Italian Identity in the Kitchen, or Food and the Nation
Author(s):

Massimo Montanari

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231160841.003.0007

This chapter examines how Italians became stereotyped as “macaroni-eaters,” or pasta-eaters. In the first half of the seventeenth century, the importance of pasta increased when production problems and the inefficiency of the public market in Naples caused the shortage of meat and vegetables that were mainstays of the popular diet. This resulted in the heavy shift to carbohydrates, causing bread and pasta to become increasingly dominant. Pasta began to be produced at lower costs, encouraging its promotion as a “basic” food. The pairing of pasta and cheese, dominated over the traditional duality of cabbage and meat: a dietary solution that assured an adequate intake of calories as well as the desired feeling of satiety. Consequently, macaroni became synonymous with Naples. To eat macaroni suggests sharing a culture, thereby transforming the symbol of Naples into a symbol of the Nation.

Keywords:   macaroni-eaters, pasta-eaters, pasta, Naples, bread, macaroni

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