WELL, IT’S ALL ABOUT VIRTUE-SIGNALING ANYWAY: ‘Authentic’ Food Is Not What You Think It Is.
Americans of a certain social class love nothing more than an “authentic” food experience. It is the highest praise that they can heap on a restaurant. The ideal food is one that was perfected by honest local peasants in some picturesque locale, then served the same way for centuries, the traditions passed down from mother to daughter (less occasionally, from father to son), with stern admonitions not to dishonor their ancestry by making it wrong.
These American diners are constantly in a quest for their own lost heritage, along with the traditions of other peoples they don’t know very well. We live, the lore says, in a fallen state, victims of Big Agriculture and a food industry that has rendered everything bland, fatty and sweet. By tapping the traditions of centuries past — or other, poorer places — we can regain the paradise that our grandparents unaccountably abandoned.
And who could be against wanting a more authentic, genuine food experience? I’m so glad you asked.
In fact, authenticity is an illusion, and a highly overrated one.
The phonier people are themselves, the more they seek “authenticity” elsewhere. And that’s especially true of “a certain social class.”