The Future has an Ancient Heart: Southern Italian Food Traditions in a Modern World (Paperback)
The dramatic landscapes and histories of southern Italy have shaped food traditions for centuries. Lemons, durum wheat, olives, almonds, and cheese have all been won from the rocky Murgia Plateau and the steep slopes of the Amalfi Coast by hard working farmers and shepherds. These foods have knit together families and communities, and are important expressions of identity that southerners are fiercely proud of. But what happens when modernity makes traditions look outdated and out of sync? When it's hard to find family to help with harvests because youth have moved away to work in cities? When it's cheaper to buy grocery store cheese made by international companies than to pay the local shepherd a living wage to move his animals across pastures and farmers' fields like his ancestors before him? As southern Italy becomes a hot tourist destination, how can these unique foods and food producers be celebrated without being transformed into hollow performances? In essays, photographs, and recipes anthropologist Nicole Kilburn shares her experiences of meeting diverse food producers in Puglia, Basilicata and Campania, and explores the histories and modern realities of the foods of Italy's Mezzogiorno.