Good Food and Nice People: Hospitality and the Construction of Quality Among the Italian Middle Class

  • Federica Davolio
  • Roberta SassatelliEmail author
Part of the Consumption and Public Life book series (CUCO)


This chapter addresses the aesthetical and ethical dimension of ordinary food consumption in contemporary Italy. It elaborates on a vast empirical research project, extracting from approximately 400 hours of interviews with middle-class families from the North of Italy. In particular, we consider how these families bestow value onto food by constructing its “quality”. Reference to the local territory is often employed to construct a notion of food quality that is typically set against notions of globalization and massification; likewise reference to greenness and sustainability are contrasted with industrialism and corporate interests. Green, local food is appreciated both for its aesthetic and ethic prerogatives. Quality food becomes an aesthetic and ethic dispositive used to portray visions of personal as well as family wellbeing.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Croton on HudsonNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.University of MilanMilanItaly

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