The Tradition of Invention: Reading History Through <i>La cucina casareccia napoletana</i>

Carol Bonomo Jennngs and Christine Palamidessi Moore

in American Woman, Italian Style

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231751
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241286 | DOI:
The Tradition of Invention: Reading History Through La cucina casareccia napoletana

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According to Piero Camporesi, cookbooks have the unique capacity to unify populations on conscious and unconscious, public and private levels. As historical artifacts, cookbooks tell us about the construction of collective identities, the invention of culinary traditions, and the process of recording in writing what has been an oral tradition in many cultures. It can also reveal the dynamics and tensions of particular culinary systems when translated across communities and time periods. La cucina casareccia napoletana reveals the kinds of problems attendant upon translating culinary traditions across geographic, economic, and political boundaries. More to the point, the book underscores the difficulty of defining exactly what constitutes a “tradition” when it comes to preparing and consuming food. Authors and compilers of cookbooks and recipe collections performed more cultural work than preserving and commemorating culinary practices for future use.

Keywords: Piero Camporesi; cookbooks; culinary traditions; food; collective identities

Chapter.  4155 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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