The Eternal Table: A Cultural History of Food in Rome (Big City Food Biographies), 144226974X

The Eternal Table: A Cultural History of Food in Rome: 144226974X: epub

Product details


  • Full Title: The Eternal Table: A Cultural History of Food in Rome (Big City Food Biographies)
  • Autor: Giancarlo Rolandi
  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Publication Date: March 8, 2019
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144226974X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442269743
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 13,54 Mb

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The Eternal Table: A Cultural History of Food in Rome is the first concise history of the food, gastronomy, and cuisine of Rome spanning from pre-Roman to modern times. It is a social history of the Eternal City seen through the lens of eating and feeding, as it advanced over the centuries in a city that fascinates like no other. The history of food in Rome unfolds as an engaging and enlightening narrative, recounting the human partnership with what was raised, picked, fished, caught, slaughtered, cooked, and served, as it was experienced and perceived along the continuum between excess and dearth by Romans and the many who passed through.

Like the city itself, Rome’s culinary history is multi-layered, both vertically and horizontally, from migrant shepherds to the senatorial aristocracy, from the papal court to the flow of pilgrims and Grand Tourists, from the House of Savoy and the Kingdom of Italy to Fascism and the rise of the middle classes. The Eternal Table takes the reader on a culinary journey through the city streets, country kitchens, banquets, markets, festivals, osterias, and restaurants illuminating yet another facet of one of the most intriguing cities in the world.

Editorial Reviews


Only a handful of cities worldwide can lay claim to a food tradition as long as Rome’s. Yet as Karima Moyer elegantly demonstrates, while the table may have been near-eternal, the vagaries of politics and war, religious belief and migration brought one change after another to the food on that table. Like the city itself, the food is a patchwork that combines the startlingly new with pasts both gladly abandoned and fondly remembered. Fascinating. (Rachel Laudan, author of Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History)

Taking the stance that writing on Rome is often “prey to sentiment and idealization,” the author adopts a studied approach, including thorough chapters on the area’s terrain, historic marketplaces and osterias, and the development of foodstuffs and eating traditions alongside the rise and fall of the Empire. . . . Rome enthusiasts will revel in this well-researched retrospective of a dynamic, ever-evolving city.” (Publishers Weekly)

While everyone knows that Rome’s food is appealing, few know just how interesting it is – but now they can. Karima Moyer-Nocchi’s tour de force places Roman cuisine firmly in the city’s complex history. She shows that change as much as tradition underlies Roman food, and that immigrants as much as natives have shaped what has been eaten by the humble and the grand alike. A must-read for those interested in the food of Italy and the history of food generally. (Andrew McGowan, Dean of the Berkley Divinity School, Yale University, author of Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals)

Much more than a march through Roman food history, The Eternal Table evocatively describes the tastes of Rome from the bread-and-circuses era to today’s globalization. An informed but also light-hearted guide to the surprisingly vigorous cuisine of the city of emperors and popes. (Chester D. Tripp, Professor of History, Yale University, and author “Ten Restaurants That Changed America”)

Tackling the history of food and culture of the Eternal City of Rome takes an eternal and ever-changing table as is adeptly laid out in this well-researched book. Karima Moyer-Nocchi expertly examines the role food played in the development of the ancient city and how it continues to effect and influence the changing populations and modern culture. (Linda Pelaccio, Host of “A Taste of the Past” podcast)

About the Author

Karima Moyer-Nocchi was born and raised in the US, immigrating to the Italy in 1990. She is a professor at the University of Siena in the Modern Languages department and lectures in Food Studies at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata and the University of Oklahoma, Arezzo. Her first book, Chewing the Fat – An Oral History of Italian Foodways from Fascism to Dolce Vita, an exposé about the mythologies regarding Italian food traditions was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. In the works is a cookbook of “assimilation cuisine,” exploring her personal culinary experiences as a permanent immigrant resident in Italy. She currently resides in Umbria.

Giancarlo Rolandi is a native Roman, Vice President of Slow Food Rome, and lectures in culinary history at the University of Rome. He is the director of the award-winning film Così mangiavano, and author of Hostaria cinema.

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