“Authenticity” is a term all too often misused and abused in the popular press, and thoroughly distorted and maligned in the academic milieu. This leads to the peculiar situation that one of the most common terms in both gastronomic writing and the popular culinary imagination has been almost completely excised from academic discourse by an overzealous ideology critique. This conceptual blind spot arose because the topic suggests a valorization of origins, hierarchies, and certitudes, all anathema to postmodern critique. I wish to propose a reconsideration of the term that saves its descriptive and theoretical values from both a naive, unreflective, often reactionary popular usage and from a stultifying politically correct automatism on the part of many scholars.

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