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christine215's avatar

What do you consider to be "authentic"?

Asked by christine215 (3158 points ) December 14th, 2010

So many aspects of todays cultures have resulted of evolution and influences of other cultures over years and years. Today people toss around the word “authentic” as if it means something.

Is there any such thing as “authentic” any more?
Tomatoes were brought from the New World to Europe and Italians only started using them relatively recently… so is Italian Food made with tomatoes considered “authentic” Italian Food, or is it Italian food with New World influence?

Hypothetical: Authentic Roman jewelry found in ruins, could have been made by a slave from North Africa, using materials from India… is it Roman? North African? Indian?

By today’s standards, what is “authentic”

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9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Anything that represents a culture. By which standard, tomatoes in Italian food are authentic.

Authentic does not mean “pure of origin”.

christine215's avatar

@marinelife so does that mean that “chicago style Pizza” is authentic pizza, to a Chicagoan?

marinelife's avatar

@christine215 From the vehemence I have seen expressed about it on Fluther, it definitely is.

christine215's avatar

So is there a cut off for “authentic” as it relates to food and goods from any given culture, or is the meaning of the word as ever evolving as cultures are?

seazen's avatar

Authenticity is, in my humble, over-rated.

Kardamom's avatar

Yeah, what @seazen said. It’s like we all know that Captain Kirk was the original captain of the Enterprise, at least as far as the show goes, but that does not make Captain Picard any less authentic. Those 2 guys are similar to the thing about New York pizza vs Chicago style pizza, and if you throw in Captain Janeway (although she was the Captain of Voyager), then you can also throw in authentic Italian pizza. It’s all good, but for different reasons.

in the voice of Captain Janeway,“Mr. Chakotay, bring me a slice of pizza.”

anartist's avatar

Authenticity has much to do with the on-site definition. For a much narrower example: historic house preservation. Someone has a house in Old Town Alexandria VA that was build in 1799. Since that many changes were made including kitchens, bathrooms, HVAC, etc, even the addition of cheap green and white plastic window awnings [cringe!] from the 50s. According to someone on the Committee for Historic Preservation, if/when the house is accepted for inclusion, everything architectural on it becomes part of the preserved house, a document of its history. One may have a hard time getting permission to remove the green-and-white awnings. “Authentic” can have many filters.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Kardamom Captain Kirk was not the original captain of the Enterprise, Captain Pike was.
I have run into a serious issue with authenticity. I make replica Choctaw baskets using plastic canvas and yarn, yet I’m not allowed to compete in the annual Art exhibition, because plastic is excluded.

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