Key words
Sicily, tradition, innovations, cuisine, preservation of traditions
About the Author
E-mail: oxana-fais@ya ndex.ruTel.: +7 (499) 954-93-43
32a, Leninskiy av., Moscow, 119334, Russian Federation
PhD in History, Senior Researcher, Center of European and American Studies, N. N. Miklukho-Mak-lay Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Date of publication

This article focuses on modern Sicily, a culturally conservative region, an arena of confrontation between the traditional and the new. For the fi rst time in scholarship, it analyzes the mechanisms of adaptation and assimilation of innovations in cuisine using the example of Sicily. The author relies on primary sources, academic literature, and on personal fi eld materials. The study contains a detailed cultural and sociological analysis not only of the specifics of the region, but also of various categories of innovation. It examines specific adaptations of innovation in Sicily, the particular features of how they unfold and the results they yield. Special attention is paid to such important anthropological aspects of the society under study as stereotypes of traditional mentality; the norms and standards of the population’s behavior; the concepts and criteria of prestige; the hierarchy of values; and taste preferences; as well as their social diversity.

Many factors favor preserving the “old cuisine”, including the conservatism of the region, its socio-cultural characteristics, and the presence of elements “cementing” tradition: rigidity in behavior and thinking; the numerical predominance of “folk strata” in the population; the ability of an island culture “to restructure itself ”. The article concludes that Sicilians’ conscious attitude toward traditional food as an indicator of their identity plays an important role in preserving their alimentary heritage.


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For citation

Fais O. D. Traditions and innovations in Sicilian cuisine. Traditional culture.2019. Vol. 20. No. 3. Pp. 139–149. In Russian.