Mar 202011
 

This past Friday’s Venerdì magazine has an article on using wild edible flowers and herbs to flavor food (11 Mar 2011, pp.118-119). The article noted that chervil was chewed by gladiators for strength and that monks doing penance ate a broth made from nettles. This article is an example of the desire of the youngest generation to remember (or re-learn) what the older generation intentionally wanted to forget. Nettle soup, salads made from wild edibles, dishes from wild tubers, and the popularity of supposed “farmer food” (cucina povera) represents, we think, a desire for the authenticity of the past because of the hyper-modern unconnectedness of the present (reflected perhaps as well in the rage for social networking in the face of growing real isolation?). These dishes were, in the past, not so much symbols of authenticity but rather poverty, an example of the dramatic shift in the semiotics of the cucina povera.  ZN

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