Slow Food and the Politics of Pork Fat: Italian Food and European Identity

In Alison Leitch’s article, she begins with her personal experience of a trending American ‘fast food’ craze in Italy. Having been there in the decade past, she noticed an influx in the quick way to conquer hunger. This retro way to eat food caused a stir with some folk and the Slow Food organization was formed. Under the organization there are foods that are “endangered”. One of these endangered foods is lardo or pork fat that had become very popular in the decade Leitch was absent.

Leitch discusses how when she would entertain her foreign guest during their stay. They would visit Colonnata and have lardo-tastings, in the 1980s this was odd to the guest at first. Then in the late 90s, Colonnata became a major tour destination for international culinary tourism.

In the 1980s, the EU Food and Safety Legislation wanted to standardize the European Food industry. With their newly written legislation they would be threatening “the production of artisanal foods linked to particular localities and cultural traditions”. The Slow Foods movement is trying to keep culture in the European food cuisine. Which leads me to my question: is it too late for American food to have cultural significance?



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