A Short History of Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce

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Translation of: Il mito delle origini. Breve storia degli spaghetti al pomodoro.

"Is it possible to identify a starting point in history from which everything else unfolds--a single moment that can explain the present and reveal the essence of our identities? According to Massimo Montanari, this is just a myth: by themselves, origins explain very little and historical phenomena can only be understood dynamically--by looking at how events and identities develop and change as a result of encounters and combinations that are often unexpected. As Montanari shows in this lively, brilliant, and surprising essay, all you need to debunk the "origins myth" is a plate of spaghetti. By tracing the history of the one of Italy's "national dishes"--from Asia to America, from Africa to Europe; from the beginning of agriculture to the Middle Ages and up to the 20th century--he shows that in order to understand who we are (our identity) we almost always need to look beyond ourselves to other cultures, peoples, and traditions."--Provided by publisher.

  • Readers of culinary history
  • Armchair travelers
  • Readers interested in cultural exchange
  • This is not a recipe book, or even an instruction guide; it covers aspects of history, botany, agribusiness, and culture to inform.
  • Written by one of Europe's foremost scholars of the evolution of agriculture, landscape, food, and nutrition.
  • It is a meditation on origin stories and cultural identity.