Chapter

Food Combinations, Meal Sequence, & Bodily Well-Being

Douglas Harper and Palrizia Faccioli

in The Italian Way

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780226317243
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226317267 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226317267.003.0007
Food Combinations, Meal Sequence, & Bodily Well-Being

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Italians believe they know what foods combine properly, the order in which food should be eaten, and how the body properly digests food. These assumptions create a structure for integrating food into daily life. The chapter studies both the forms of this structure and the typical ways Italians improvise alternative versions. It explores why these structures exist, and while there can be no definitive answer, several ideas do exist that seem plausible. The chapter concludes the theorizing with an analysis of the latent functions of the formal structuring of Italian eating, showing how behavior toward food creates the particularly Italian social existence and protects diners from “dangerous” foods such as sugar and alcohol. The result of these various and peculiar memories and practices is the essential Italian food mind, the merging of body and culture.

Keywords: food combinations; meal sequence; bodily well-being; Italy; Italian culture; Italian food

Chapter.  13390 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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