TRADITIONAL ITALIAN PIZZA, AN INTERCULTURAL FOOD FOR IMMIGRANTS
Scardella P., Piombo L., Spada R., Carico R., Mogavero C., Iorio E.L.
2nd International Conference on Traditional Mediterranean Diets: Past, Present and Future
Athens, 20-22 April 2005
Every culture is the result of the interaction between different traditions and experiences. Also eating habits derive from the capacity of mixing and blending different foods to become integrating part of the culture itself.
The “melting pot” has been the practice by which food habits, with the integration of “exotic food”, has paradoxically permitted to preserve each cultural identity.
Food is, therefore, by its own nature “intercultural”, and the best recipes derive from the blending of foods of different origins. The Italian traditional cooking (as the one of many other countries of the world), is a good example of this assumption.
Tomatoes, maize, potatoes, various kinds of beans, peppers, chilli peppers (an important symbol of Southern Italy eating habits), all the plants originally introduced from America, have renewed and deeply modified traditional Italian cooking through the centuries, in such a way that today many of these foods are considered the base of the Mediterranean diet.
Wheat flour, tomato, olive oil and mozzarella are the main ingredients of pizza, the most famous Italian product in the world. Pizza represents a food of high nutritional value, low cost and easy consumption, it is often eaten outside home and it can be consider a symbol of joyful and convivial sociality.
We presents the results of a study carried out in Rome regarding 182 immigrants.
The aim of the study was to investigate the relations between the biological and cultural aspects of the eating habits and the migratory phenomenon; in particular, we present some results about the knowledge and the enjoyment of Italian cooking.
From the investigation it comes out that the 90% of the immigrants describe Italian food very or enough agreeable and the most taken typical Italian food are pizza and pasta, while for a very high percentage (80%) pizza represents the preferred “food on the road” for the lunch and considered, besides of high enjoyment, healthy, cheap and of fast consumption.
Pizza can represent a typical Italian “melting pot”, a “mixture” of elements coming from a lot of different cultures, gathered by a “Mediterranean substratum”, appreciated all over the world.