Oral historian and culinary scholar Dr. Karima Moyer-Nocchi will present stories from her recently published book: Chewing the Fat – An Oral History of Italian Foodways from Fascism to Dolce Vita, based on oral history interviews carried out with Italian women in their nineties. She examines the sociopolitical influence that the fascist era exerted on the formation of the Italian culinary identity, and the role it played in the conceptual development of Italian cuisine as we know it today. Moyer analyzes the notion of “authenticity” and reveals how some of the best-loved myths of Italian food are part of an invented set of traditions, but explains why those have been an important part of societal healing and cultural progression in Italy.
Karima Moyer-Nocchi is a professor in the Modern Languages department at the University of Siena and also teaches Food Studies at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata, and the University of Oklahoma, Arezzo. Her research explores the affective, political, and economic implications of foodways and culinary traditions. She is author of Chewing the Fat - An Oral History of Italian Foodways from Fascism to Dolce Vita. Her most recent work The Eternal Table: A Cultural History of Food in Rome, an epic culinary history spanning from the pre-Romans to present day, will be published in January of 2019. Future musings include an autobiographical “assimilation” cookbook from the viewpoint of living (and cooking) in Italy as an immigrant with varied culinary interests. Moyer-Nocchi was born and raised in the US, and has been a permanent resident in Italy for 30 years and currently resides in Umbria.