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Humanities 2016, 5(2), 26; doi:10.3390/h5020026

Paolo Mantegazza as Didatic Gastronome: Food, Art, Science and the New Italian Nation

Department of French and Italian, Princeton University, 303 East Pyne, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
Academic Editor: Francesca Muccini
Received: 18 February 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 9 April 2016 / Published: 4 May 2016
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Abstract

It is in Risorgimento Italy that there is an incessant quest for a definition of what it means to be Italian amongst a reality of economic paucity and clear social divisiveness. During this tenuous yet crucial epoch, there is a cohesive attempt to define Italian taste with an ideological terminology previously absent from sensorial and aesthetic discourse. A fundamental purveyor of this novel approach is the self-defined “poligamo delle scienze,” Paolo Mantegazza. To the plurality of roles attributed to the medic (anthropologist, pathologist, senator, writer, etc.), there is one yet to be explored—Mantegazza as didactic gastronome. In the attempt to combat what he considers the anti-hygienic conditions plaguing the nation, the medic inaugurates a pedagogic process that would ideally lead to the formation of the Italian citizen. With the goal of creating a stronger and more capable Italian populace, the author goes to great lengths to provide guidelines for maximizing nourishment through the humblest of foods. Ultimately, Mantegazza’s pedagogic gourmandism is integral in the propagation of a social model of comportment that defines the Positivist framework of biological and nationalistic renewal and to a new vision of taste. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mantegazza; Artusi; Italian taste; food as art; Italian nationalism Mantegazza; Artusi; Italian taste; food as art; Italian nationalism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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De Feo, D. Paolo Mantegazza as Didatic Gastronome: Food, Art, Science and the New Italian Nation. Humanities 2016, 5, 26.

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