Edibles & Potables: The “pizza effect”; Alberto Grandi; and debunking Italian culinary myths

The Summer 2023 issue of Food & Dining Magazine — our 20th Anniversary issue — is now available in all the familiar places: Louisville area eateries and food shops, newsstands and online.

We have the Austrian-born Hindu monk and anthropology professor Agehananda Bharati (1923-1991) to thank for “the pizza effect,” as explained at Wikipedia:

In religious studies and sociology, the pizza effect is the phenomenon of elements of a nation’s or people’s culture being transformed or at least more fully embraced elsewhere, then re-exported to their culture of origin, or the way in which a community’s self-understanding is influenced by (or imposed by, or imported from) foreign sources.

Bharati chose food as the medium for his insights, offering this (in)famous explanation in 1970.

The original pizza was a simple, hot-baked bread without any trimmings, the staple of the Calabrian and Sicilian contadini from whom well over 90% of all Italo-Americans descend. After World War I, a highly elaborated dish, the U.S. pizza of many sizes, flavors, and hues, made its way back to Italy with visiting kinsfolk from America. The term and the object have acquired a new meaning and a new status, as...Read more