Did you know that until a century ago Italian cuisine was considered poison?

Nov 24, 2022 176

Today Italian food is a planetary myth. But it was not always so. For a long time the food of our country was considered a poor man's food, bad and unhealthy. This is said by historian Dieter Richter professor at the University of Bremen in "Con gusto. Il Grand Tour della cucina italiana," a beautiful book just released in Italy.

According to the author, until the mid-twentieth century, ours was considered a second-class cuisine. And many dishes that have now climbed the heights of global taste were considered almost inedible. Starting with its iconic foods. Writers of the caliber of Alessandro Dumas considered pizza an indigestible flatbread at risk of choking. Carlo Collodi sees it as a source of infection.

It's no better for spaghetti, which to travelers who have arrived from all over Europe and the United States appear to be a tangle of "yellow-grey worms formed by sandy, rock-hard macaroni." Some go so far as to say that Italians are able to eat pasta thanks to a deformation of the throat, the same deformation that allows them to sing so well.

All these stereotypes are overturned during the twentieth century mainly thanks to our migrants who bring their dishes to the United States. And it is precisely from overseas that the Italian redemption begins. Thanks also to excellent testimonials such as Ancel Keys and Margaret Haney, discoverers of the Mediterranean diet, who propose to the world our popular gastronomy as a guarantee of taste, well-being and sustainability. The rest is today's history. And making it are the chefs, pizza makers, ice cream makers and producers who take our cuisine to the four corners of the globe. Making taste the true spearhead of Made in Italy.

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