Food is part of our culture, our identity. Eating and cooking define us in a way. What is authenticity becoming in a globalised world?
In a context of globalisation, the definition of authenticity varies. For instance, what Americans see as an authentic cassoulet is not a cassoulet at all for French people. Then, what makes food authentic isn’t the dish itself but the people who eat it. An American who is used to a dish everyone calls « cassoulet » will consider it as authentic, even if the taste of the dish isn’t the same as the French one. A dish is authentic because of the tradition built on it. The simple taste of a dish will recall memories of family meals, whether this dish is the original one or part of the cuisine of another country.
If authenticity is brought by a memory, does it refer to a particular place? To keep its authenticity is convenient for a country since it shapes its identity. It appeals to tourists (especially culinary ones) who seek for iconic dishes. However globalization – which often prevails over authenticity, also favours a diversity of food habits. Is it a problem if a new authenticity brought by globalisation creates a new identity? Wouldn’t it be better than fake authenticity or meaningless imitation? Authenticity isn’t always part of a place since it travels, but it still gives a country its identity.