'authenticity' on Serious Eats

Is It Still Italian If It's Not Made by an Italian?

The New York Times raises the question of authenticity of Italian cuisine as it examines the growing number of foreign chefs cooking in kitchens of Italian restaurants. Does, say, an Indian chef preparing Italian food make it any less Italian? One restaurant owner claims that "it's not racism, it's culture"; another says that the ethnicity of a chef changes nothing. This isn't anything new in restaurants in the U.S., but it might be a different story if you're eating abroad: Do you go to the Italian restaurant manned by the Chinese family or stick to the one run by Italians?... More

Authenticity Versus Tastiness

Deb of Smitten Kitchen on blasphemous bread, after Melissa Clark's recent inauthentic Irish soda bread recipe in the NYT: I’ve never made Irish soda bread before and eaten it almost as rarely, so I can’t offer a review with any authority, but what I loved about this article is neither could Clark. She was told by a friend married to an Irishman and living in his country that though her version was rich and lovely, it neither looked nor tasted like the real deal. Apparently, nobody in Ireland serves real soda bread anymore, she said, and even if they did, it would have no raisins, eggs, butter or caraway seeds. After trying a version faithful to the original and finding... More

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