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Italian Sensibility

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#1 JosephB

JosephB
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Posted 20 September 2004 - 05:30 PM

Dear Ms. Sheldon.

Thank you for participating in this Q&A.

What do you think is the most important factor in perpetuating the Italian sensibility about cooking and eating?

In the US, there is a growing abundance of excellent raw materials on which to build meals. At the same time, the mass production of engineered and processed foods is marching ahead. Do you see a similar dichotomy in Italy? Is this a risk to the perpetuation of the Italian sensibility about cooking and eating?

Thank you

#2 pamela in tuscany

pamela in tuscany
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  • Location:Montepulciano, Italy

Posted 21 September 2004 - 10:07 AM

Dear Ms. Sheldon.

Thank you for participating in this Q&A.

What do you think is the most important factor in perpetuating the Italian sensibility about cooking and eating? 

In the US, there is a growing abundance of excellent raw materials on which to build meals.  At the same time, the mass production of engineered and processed foods is marching ahead.  Do you see a similar dichotomy in Italy?  Is this a risk to the perpetuation of the Italian sensibility about cooking and eating?   

Thank you

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Don’t you think that the dichotomy is economy-driven? I know I saw the same thing in California. Industrially produced foods cost less, and artisanal/organic/heritage foods are practically a luxury product. I can tout the flavor and health advantages of a $3.00 (or more...) package of bronze-extruded, air-dried pasta, but the family on a budget is going to go for the 50-cent package of industrial pasta. Not that it is bad, just different.
Engineered foods are another thing altogether, and I think so far Italians have not allowed GM foods. That is a sensibility that I can appreciate, and I hope it doesn’t change.

As far as attitude about eating, I can only speak to this non-urban area I live in. Everything stops at lunch time. Weddings and special event meals last a minimum of six hours. It is difficult to eat outside of the ‘normal’ eating hours. Don’t even think of planning anything with friends on Sunday, they are all with family eating. Everyone has an ‘orto,’ a kitchen garden. Most of us are canning right now. I get phone calls that sound like this: “Tomorrow is a full moon, don’t forget to plant your garlic.”
Pamela Sheldon Johns
Italian Food Artisans
www.FoodArtisans.com





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