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					                                              Trinity College
                       FOOD IN ITALIAN HISTORY, SOCIETY, & ART
                                            SUMMER 2010

Prof: Valentina Dorato
Class meetings: M 4:00-7:00 p.m. W. – 4:00-7:00 p.m
Office hours: by appointment


Course Description

           The saying, “A tavola non s’invecchia” (“One doesn’t age at the supper table”) expresses the
importance of food and eating for Italians. In this course, we will examine the relationship between
food and culture in Italy, from the pre-historical time to the present, through a variety of readings, class
discussion and some personal and practical experience (see syllabus below for details). We will also
consider how Italian cuisine has become a staple around the world and, particularly, in the U.S. Because
the study of food culture in Italy invites comparison with your own alimentary habits, we will examine
the culture and politics of food in Italy and in the U.S. If “we are what we eat”, then “what” we choose
to eat affects many aspects of our lives.
           The study of food culture is an interdisciplinary study. Even though the historical point of
view will be the main one, during our reading, class discussion and lecture we will touch upon a lot of
different fields: anthropology, sociology, literature, art, philosophy.
           Besides studying food culture through readings, written assignments, and class discussion,
students will undertake a group-learning project around Rome that will enhance their classroom
           The following is a list of topics of class lecture. Readings are for students’ general knowledge
about the subjects below and, therefore, may not always follow the lecture topics scheduled for a given
date. The instructor will assign readings from week to week and set aside time in each class in order to
discuss them.

Purchase & Reading List

-Montanari, Massimo, Food Is Culture Hardcover, 2006.

-Fort, Mattew: Eating Up Italy: Voyages on a Vespa, Paperback, 2004

-Professor reader (you can buy it in the library)

NOTE: Here a list of some interesting and useful books and resources you can find in your library:

- Manuelli, Sara. Cucina romana. Hardcover, 2005
- Rebora, Giovanni, The Culture Of The Fork, Hardcover, 2001.

- Flandrin, Montanari, A Culinary History Of Food, Paperback, 2000.
- Strong, Roy, Feast, Hardcover.
- Camporesi Piero, The magic Harvest, Paperback, 1998.
- DVD, The meaning of food, PBS production.

Online resources:

For a history of Italy:
Slow food movement:
Italian food magazines:;
Online encyclopaedia:
Italian cuisine:
Cooking school on line:
Regional food:

Required materials:

        Your eyes and ears OPEN.
        A map of Rome.

Course Requirements and Grading Policy

-- Faithful class attendance and vigorous participation in class discussions. Because I consider the
student/instructor relationship to be a social contract, and because I believe that students are best
served by attending all classes, I will uphold the following policy: Students are allowed three absences
due to illness or other urgent circumstances. More than five absences will result in the lowering of the
final grade by one full letter grade (i.e. “B” to “C”); and students who have six or more absences may
be asked to drop the course;
-- Class/oral active participation and preparation (includes Pop-Quizzes) (15%);
-- Students will keep a “what I noticed what I learned cultural journal” (minimum 1000 words = 3/4
typed pages each entry) with their critical reflections on lectures, class discussion, readings and cultural
trips and experience in Rome and in Italy. Students should also integrate other readings and personal
experiences into their reflections. (30%);
- 15-20 minutes oral presentations (1. on the history of a particular food and 2. on the typical food of
an Italian region) (15%);
-- Midterm project oral presentation and paper (20%)
-- Final exam (20%)

         Since the opportunity of studying Italian food in Italy is unique, for their midterm project
students will need to “use” and experiment the city as much as they can. During the whole semester
students will work in groups for their final project.
For their project each group will choose a particular zone of Rome and will analyze the culture of food
in that area trough interviews, pictures, video, personal observations. Each group will work with an
Italian student who will represent the language and culture interpreter. (if possible)

Each group will create materials (video, reports, reviews, pictures, comments, interviews) that will be
presented to the class during the “Festival of Italian food” day and that will create an “Anthropological
guide to the food of Rome”. The material will be kept in the Trinity College campus Rome library and
will be available for consultation.


WEEK 1 (May 31, June 2)

Introduction: The class as an orchestra, the students as an anthropologist.

Why this course? The History of Food and of Alimentary Habits as an Academic Subject. Are We
What We Eat? Food and Identity.
Creating One’s Own Food
Eating in Italy

What do we eat? Who are we? (“We are what we eat”, Donna R. Gabaccia, Reader)
H. Keller, Three days to see (reader)
Matthew Fort, Eating up Italy
M. Montanari, Food is culture; p. 3-26.
Fred Plotkin, Italy for the gourmet traveler: Introduction and Eating in Italy (Reader)

WEEK 2 (June 7/9)
June 7: First “What I learned what I observed cultural journal”
Part of the CLASS will be held at NIGHT for the WINE TASTING.

The invention of cuisine.
The pleasure and duty of choice.

M. Montanari, Food is culture, p. 27-58
Matthew Fort, Eating up Italy
M. Montanari, Food is culture, p. 59-90.

WEEK 3 (June 14/16)
Midterm project presentations.

The choice of wine: what did you learn. How was in the Medieval times?
Food, language, identity.
The language of food. Some proverbs.

The language of food in your family.
What We Know about Eating in Antiquity:
-Eating in the Classical World: Civic Rituals, Symposium.
-Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome

M. Montanari, Food is culture, p. 91-139.
Matthew Fort, Eating up Italy
Symposium (Reader)
Apicius: Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome. (Reader)

WEEK 4 (June 21/23)
June 21: Second “What I learned what I observed cultural journal”
Part of the CLASS will be held at NIGHT for the ITALIAN COOKING CLASS.

Italy: geography, history: outlines.
Italy a physical and mental space: the Mediterranean sea.
What's the meaning of Italian cuisine?
Identity as exchange
Sweet or sour? Sugar and salt.
Eating in the city and in the country in Late Medieval Italy.
Food and literature in the Middle Ages.
Food and medicine: “it's tasty and good for your health!”.
Food in the recipe collection: the importance of the front pages.

Matthew Fort, Eating up Italy
A.Capatti and M. Montanari, Italian Cuisine. A Cultural History, Ch. 4-5
Selections from Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron (photocopies); Petrarca (photocopies)

WEEK 5 (June 28/30)
June 30: Third “What I learned what I observed cultural journal”

The sequence of dishes
The table: round or square?
The role of spices in a healthy diet in the Early Renaissance.
The development of taste and etiquette.
The order of food
The Renaissance banquet.
Food and eating in Renaissance and Baroque art.
Italian cooking and New World.
The Kitchen Brigade
Who is in the kitchen today? Personal experiences.
Science and technology in the Kitchen: an Italian and an American kitchen: how technologies changed
our way of life?

May technology change the Hunger problem in the world? How?: discussion, ideas.
Pellegrino Artusi.

Matthew Fort, Eating up Italy

WEEK 6 (July 5/7)

Toward a history of appetite.
Futurism and food.
Food during the Fascist Period
After the WWII
Food and body: from the nineteenth Century up to today.
Today: the perfect body. Round table.
Italy’s Multi-cultural Cuisine: Future Trends of Italian Food Due to the Effects of Globalization and
Immigration to Italy
The “Slow Food” Movement and Californian cuisine: Alice Waters.
Italy: Regional food. What you learned.

Matthew Fort, Eating up Italy
“Slow food” Movement (Reader and internet resources)
Alice Waters: some articles.(Reader)

Please be advised that at a couple of classes will be outside and that it's possible that the class time will
change according to the class need and schedules.

Please be advised that the schedule could change according to the class need.
Please be advised that it is possible that some classes on site will be held in the morning according to
the class need and the schedule of students’ other classes.

Food in Italian history
Trinity College, Campus Rome
Prof. Valentina Dorato

                                       MIDTERM PROJECT.

   What is the purpose of your research for your particular area of Rome?

              To discover and classify, as in a gourmet guide, all the places where you can eat or buy
               food and drinks in at least one part of the zone you chose earlier in class which you
               consider to be the most significant.
              To understand how often people go shopping for food in each of the different kind of
               stores that you will find; what type of people go there (age, sex); at what time of day;
               also what kind of stuff they usually purchase.
              To understand how often as well as when people usually go out for breakfast, lunch and
               dinner. How much do they usually spend? Do they go by themselves or with someone,
               and if so with whom. How old are people that usually go to these particular places.
               What do they usually eat and how long does their meal usually last.
              To find your favorite place to eat and also your favorite place to buy food and/or drinks
               in the specific zone which you picked studying them with greater depth. You will decide
               your favorite dish (what is the recipe to make it) and item (what we use that item for).
              To observe as much as you can about the food within your zone. Once you have
               analyzed the food within your zone, you should contrast your predispositions with your
               discoveries about your zone. You should as well compare and contrast the food within
               your specific area and the food you are used to back in the States.
              To realize how food can help one to understand a culture more in depth. What are you
               able to infer about a culture by the food that they produce and consume.
              To create some interesting materials (reviews, interviews, videos, pictures, dishes!) that
               you will present to the whole class which will aid others students to understand the
               culture of Rome on a deeper level.

Some suggestions to how to do that:

    Pick an area of Rome
    Find a good map of Rome and of the zone you picked,
       ( and find out how you can get there

       ( (you can also find some suggestion for where to go in the books
       “Cucina Romana” and “C’e’ una Roma che non sai” that you can find in the library). If you
       need more practical information you can also go to the A.P.T (Azienda di Promozione Turistica)
       in VIA PARIGI,11, (+) 39 - 06488991 nearby Feltrinelli International, Termini Station
    First off go there and simply look around, enjoy the place that you have chosen. Then you will
       attempt to understand what kind of area you are in just by observing the buildings, stores,
       restaurants, parks, people etc... What specifically do you like about your area and why?
    On your second visit write down some notes about all the places you found in the most
       representative part of your zone where you can buy or eat food (in every zone you will probably
       find: bar, , ristoranti, trattorie, osterie, taverne, pizzerie, pizza a taglio, alimentary, mercati,
       supermercati, pescherie, fruttivendoli, macellerie, forni, rosticcerie, pasticcerie, pub,birrerie, vinerie,
    Prepare your questions in English to interview people on the information you need to discover.
       The Italian student that will work with you will serve as your language translator.
    When you are going to interview people you can either record what they say using a video
       camera, voice recorder, or takes notes on paper…
    Once you know the zone better, and you will have found some information about the restaurants
       or pizzerie or…that are around (you will find a guide of the restaurants or Rome in the library)
       you will be probably be ready to pick your favorite place to eat in your particular area as well as
       your favorite place to buy food. You are now ready to study and observe those places in greater
    I suggest that you take pictures and/or video that you can use on your final presentation.
    Once you have all the information you need you will collect your idea, write a report of all that
       you observed and learned as a result of all your work. This would include everything you
       observed, understand, inferred, the list of the places and the interviews you have done, the
       recipes… (8-12 pages) and you will prepare the presentation you will give for all the class. (15/20

Here is a list of place where I like to eat and that, maybe, you can enjoy as well.

-Cul de sac (for wine, formaggi, prosciutto, salame, mortadella, speack...)
(piazza Pasquino, near Piazza Navona)

-L'oasi della birra (Piazza Testaccio); it's a pub

where they have a lot of different kinds of birra and
they have good cheese and cakes as well.


-Dar Poeta (Trastevere: Vicolo del Bologna.) Great
pizza romana and bruschette and... calzone con ricotta
e nutella!!!

-Remo, Piazza Santa Maria Ausiliatrice (Testaccio)

-La Montecarlo, Vicolo Savelli 13 (a side street of Via Vittorio
Emanuele, near by Campo de' Fiori). Also the pasta is
good and the bruschetta pomodoro e fagioli is famous.

- Da Baffetto, Via del Governo Vecchio 114 (Piazza Navona)

-Pizzeria (Ai marmi). Viale Trastevere 53 (Trastevere)

Trattorie, risoranti...

-Da Augusto (Trastevere, near by Piazza Trilussa. Piazza)

-La citta' del gusto (it's a buiding dedicated to food
where you can find a bar and a restaurant as well.
They organise cooking class and the wine is really

-Sora Lucia, Via Panetteria 41 (Trastevere).

-Der pallaro (Largo del pallaro) near by Campo de
Fiori. Here is one of the place where you don't order:
the decide for you!!!

-Pierluigi, Piazza ed’ Ricci 144. A fancy restaurant, not cheap. But really
really good. (near Piazza Farnese)

- La carbonara (Via panisperna 214). Very good for
pasta and fritti.A lot of hand made pasta (Monti zone)

- Da Felice, Via Mastro Giorgio 29, (Testaccio)

- Il bucatino, Via Luca della Robbia 84/86, Testaccio

- Da checco er carettiere, Via Benedetta 10, (Trastevere)

Pizza a taglio, rosticcerie, forni, paninerie:

“Da Simone” Via Gicinto Carini, 50. Monteverde Vecchio (Near the Amrican University of
Rome). (one of the best suppli in Rome)

“La Renella”, Vicolo del moro, Trastevere. Bread, pizza, delicious biscuits.

“Pizza Pazza”, Piazza Trilussa, Trastevere. The pizza is made with soya bean flour.

“La boccaccia”, Via di Santa Dorotea 2, (Trastevere)

“I suppli’:, Via San Francesco a Ripa 137, (Trastevere)

“Antico forno di Campo de’ Fiori”, Campo dei Fiori 22

Caffè e gelaterie, sale da te, cioccolaterie

-La tazza d’oro, Via degli Orfani, 84 (Pantheon)

- Sant’Eustachio, Piazza Sant’Eustachio 82 (Pantheon)

- San Crispino, Via della panetteria 42, (Fondana di Trevi)

- Giolitti, Via Uffici del Vicario 40, (Parlamento, Pantheon)

- Gelateria La scala, Piazza della Scala 60, (Trastevere)

-Da checco er carrettiere, Via Benedetta 10 (Trastevere)

- Sala da te russa, Via dei falegnami 7/9 (Ghetto ebraico)

- Cicoccolateria, Vicolo del Cinque 11°, (Trastevere)

- Cioccolateria/ pasticceria, Via del Moro (Trastevere)