The invention of Venetian cuisine. Consumption, tourism and regional identity
This article considers local recipe books as works for the preservation and diffusion of knowledge: they propose a gastronomic discourse, but, at the same time, they construct a local identity which is very meaningful, because food consumption concerns everyone and is related to rituals of sociability. The essay explores the ways in which representations of gastronomy and identity in Venice have changed in the principal local recipe books. In less than one century, the Venetian cuisine has moved from a weak reputation to an image of grande cuisine; from an overwhelmingly meat culture to one predominantly based on fish; from a cuisine influenced by practices typical of other towns of the Veneto region to one
that looks principally to the Adriatic and the Lagoon. These changes are examined in the context of the major transformations during this period: new food consumption habits, the advent of mass tourism, and the difficult and shifting relationship between Venice’s historical centre and the mainland.