Premise - Perhaps more than any other recipe in the Italian gastronomic canon, spaghetti alla carbonara and its origins have perplexed and eluded gastronomers for more than five decades.
Most food historians group the currently and popularly accepted theories of the etymon into three groups: the origin of the dish can be ascribed to
- Coal miners;
- American soldiers who mixed “bacon and eggs” and pasta after occupying Italy in the post-war era...
- Ippolito Cavalcanti, the highly influential nineteenth-century Neapolitan cookery book author, whose landmark 1839 Cucina Teorico-Pratica included a recipe for pasta with eggs and cheese...
- Theory that points to the restaurant La Carbonara, opened in 1912 in Rome. According to its website, it was launched by “coal seller” Federico Salomone. But the authors of site do not lay claim to the invention of carbonara nor do they address the linguistic affinity (even though they mention that their carbonara was included in a top-ten classification by the Gambero Rosso).
Carbonara, a new theory of its origin
In the course of my research to date, the earliest description of carbonara that I have identified is found in Eating in Italy; a pocket guide to Italian food and restaurants by Richard Hammond, published by Scribner in 1957.
In it, he includes carbonara... [read more...]