The validity of authenticity

Roxanne Quintero comments are insightful.

To bring this thread to a lighter side . . . . I came across this article about foods that have gone out of favor (American viewpoint) in recent years . . . . I’m not sure their absence makes the American table less authentic (cutting myself off there to keep it light :wink: )


That’s one weird article. I’m not sure I’d characterize artificially flavored kids drinks and gum as food.
My mother used Crisco in baking always.
Made the best biscuits.
And I’m sticking up for the validity of Sloppy Joe’s, National version. Not the wacky NJ one.

1 Like

I think you did a wonderful job in your post. Well done. Your post makes me also contemplate the politically correct terminology of “cultural appropriation.” Is my adjustment of matzo brei ‘more okay’ due to my Russian Jewish heritage? What about my lasagna? Does my Russian/English/German heritage diminish it? How about my wife’s entirely Italian family? Does that matter? Does my version of Irish stew count less because my ancestors are from the wrong island in the UK? Is my Caribbean cooking less valid for not having a cultural connection beyond dozens of working visits there?

I’m in no way defensive here, just adding–I hope–to @Thimes’ excellent post.


In the USA, none of that should matter.
At least that’s the way I envision harmony.


“Should” and “is” are different, even here on HO.

No one cares what you cook at home. Cook away.


You covered so many things so well - thank you.

These especially resonated:

In my original response, I was trying to figure out how to address “cultural appropriation” and when it is considered a problem vs. when it is painted as being “too sensitive” (aka PC) - I think your points about power articulated it - there’s a directionality, and the target matters, it’s not an equivalent discussion applied to different groups. Irish stew with an Ottolenghi twist = problem. Israeli food with Nigella “liberties” = ???

I had a recent situation in the back of my mind when I read the article: Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen blogged about a chicken curry recipe from Chetna Makan (of GBBO) - Perelman ”corrected” the name of the recipe (”Makan calls the recipe chicken curry, but I took the liberty of calling it by what seems to be its full dish name: chicken tikka masala”.) There was an uproar in the comments, she was suitably apologetic and changed it (back), but the fact remains that she thought it was ok to do it in the first place - Makan describes it as her mother’s chicken curry, but Perelman thought maybe she got the name wrong by mistake…? It highlighted for me - again - the threads of power and privilege that are so often glossed over or otherwise coded.


Follow us on Facebook, Twitter!

Press Room
“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold