La Pietra Dialogues – Food, Culture, Politics #NYUFlorence4EXPO
David Gentilcore, University of Leicester
The experience of the arrival, reception and success of New World products in Europe—tomatoes, maize, potatoes, chillies, etc.—is a unique event in the culinary history of the continent. The assimilation of each foodstuff has its own distinct trajectory. Professor Gentilcore explores how the tomato gradually and slowly came to dominate Italian cookery and food exports, after inauspicious beginnings in the 1500s, by following the tomato’s itinerary, both back and forth across the Atlantic and in terms of its different developments in Italy´s regions. Gentilcore does this through the medium of “taste” — in the cultural sense of changing food preferences and the biochemical sense of flavor — analysing the role taste had to play in shaping the different stages of the tomato’s Italian history.
Read more about this event on the LPD website.
University of Leicester
David Gentilcore is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Leicester (in the UK), where he is also a member of the Centre for Medical Humanities. He is currently director of the ´Rough Skin´ project on the history of pellagra, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. His most recent books are Food and Health in Early Modern Europe (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), Italy and the Potato: A History, 1550-2000 (London: Continuum, 2012; Italian translation Italiani mangiapatate, Bologna: il Mulino), and Pomodoro! A History of the Tomato in Italy (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010; Italian translation: Purpurea meraviglia, Milan: Garzanti, 2010).