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Garlic and oil : food and politics in - Carol F. Helstosky

Garlic and oil

food and politics in

Hardcover Published: 1st July 2004
ISBN: 9781859738900
Number Of Pages: 258

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Pasta, cappuccino, olive oil Italian food culture is a prominent feature of Western society in our cafes, restaurants and homes. But what is the history of Italian cuisine? And where do we get our notions about Italian food? Garlic and Oil is the first comprehensive history of food habits in modern Italy. Chronicling the period from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, the author argues that politics dramatically affected the nature of Italian cuisine and food habits. Contrary to popular belief, the Italian diet was inadequate and unchanging for many decades. Drawing on the writings of scientific professionals, domestic economists, government officials, and consumers, the author shows how the miserable diet of so many Italians became the subject of political debate and eventually, the target of government intervention. As successive regimes liberal, fascist, democratic struggled with the question of how to improve peoples eating habits, their actions purposefully and inadvertently affected what and how much Italians ate, shaping not only the foundations of Italian cuisine, but also the nature of Italian identity. Garlic and Oil is a popular national food history that offers a new perspective on the history of consumerism and food studies by examining how political change affects food consumption habits.

'Packed with fascinating insights.' The Guardian 'One of the finest cultural histories of recent times Helstosky shows there is much we can learn about the history of a society from its culinary culture. Marvellous.' BBC History 'Garlic and Oil is a fine work of history. Helstosky has successfully combined two relatively new areas of research - the history of consumerism and food studies - to produce an original, informative and stimulating account of Italian eating habits in the modern era.' Journal of History 'The topic is alluring, the style accessible It is very timely to have a book on Italian food that is a work of serious scholarship [This is] a book that many of us have been waiting for.' Robert Lumley, University College London 'This meticulously researched and gracefully written history of Italian food politics provides a fascinating background for understanding contemporary Italian cuisine and culture.' Carole Counihan, Millersville University and author of Around the Tuscan Table: Food, Gender and Family in Twentieth Century Italy 'Why have Italians been able to resist the blandishments of fast food for so long? In this fascinating study Carol Helstosky shows that politics play no less a role than culture, environment and the social order in shaping what we eat. Her exploration of the origins and survival of the 'Mediterranean diet' from Mussolini to the present makes Garlic Oil an original and immensely readable contribution to the rapidly growing literature on food and its many histories.' John A. Davis, University of Connecticut 'Garlic and Oil does represent an important historical reconstruction of the relation between state politics and food consumption patterns, and will be useful for historians of consumption as well as for historians in general, especially for those involved with the Fascist period, which is to some degree reframed from the perspective of food consumption. The book will also be helpful for scholars of consumption, especially for those involved with contemporary food culture, representing and important historical framework of the development of food consumption in Italy, particularly for the attention paid to the construction of public and expert discourse about food in Italy.' Paolo Magaudda, University of Padova

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Unification through Monotony, Italy 1861-1914p. 11
The Great War and the Rise of State Intervention, Italy 1915-1922p. 39
The Cooking of Consent, Italy 1922-1935p. 63
Austerity and Decline, Italy 1935-1945p. 91
The Challenge of Abundance, Italy 1945-1960p. 127
Conclusion: A Cuisine of Scarcityp. 151
Epilogue: Food in Italy Todayp. 155
Notesp. 167
Bibliographyp. 217
Indexp. 238
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781859738900
ISBN-10: 1859738907
Audience: BAC
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 258
Published: 1st July 2004
Publisher: BERG PUBL INC
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 2.39
Weight (kg): 0.53
Edition Number: 1