• Natalie Arancio

How Did Village Food Become So Chic?

Updated: Jan 10, 2020

It was quite a few years ago, over 16 actually, when I remember my father saying to me ‘the fancy food restaurants serve is essentially peasant food disguised as something for yuppies’ (yuppy is the 90s word for modern-day hipster I guess).

My dad did make bold comments; he was a straight shooter and in this case got me thinking: when did it become fashionable to be poor?

How did village food become so chic? And what has changed about the way we dine?

Growing up, food was linked with family, with belonging, with feelings of comfort and security.

It was over a meal that we would connect (I mean genuinely connect).

Not be connected and share photos of Michelin star food with our virtual friends.

Once upon a time (yes I believe in fairytales) sitting around a dinner table for hours after a meal provided a perfect forum to talk and connect with family and friends; it’s where I belonged.

The transformation of food from ‘peasant food’ (food that was grown, picked, cooked and eaten by the same person, is what I believe my father’s definition to be) to gourmet Michelin star plated masterpieces is coupled with the transformation of relationships.

Not only have we lost the connection with where food has come from but we have also lost the authentic connection with those sitting at our dinner table.

By transforming how we access food, have we in turn lost the connectedness that comes through that process? Coincidence? Something to ponder.

So next time you are getting ready to snap that photo after having grated pecorino cheese over your acqaucotta con funghi, stop.

Remember, acqaucotta really is ‘cooked water’ and the imported mushrooms were traditionally picked from the field outside a home to add to the broth, a broth made with the intention of softening stale bread.

Remember what is most important is acknowledging where the food you are about to eat came from and who it is you are physically sharing a meal with.

Or you could do more than reflect, you could ditch the fancy restaurant and start a farm!?

Change the way you see the world.

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