Today I heard a great talk by Anthropologist E. N. Anderson about an early globalized cuisine in medieval China. At the end of the talk he reflected on how ideas like authenticity and tradition play out in the realm of food and cuisine. Lots of ink has been spilled on authenticity, so I will skip that here. What really made me think was his discussion of tradition. Among other things, he pointed out that some foods or food rituals become tradition almost immediately (think about how children may take something done at one or two holidays as a necessary and deeply traditional element of it, or how new foods that establish themselves may become almost instant traditions, think tomatoes in Italy or China). I am still processing the great papers I heard today, but I thought it would be fun to share some of this with you.


About Cooking with Clio

I am a historian. I teach at a large Southern California University. I love to cook and garden and I have recently taken up sewing.
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