Karima Moyer

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Karima Moyer-Nocchi is an American-Italian culinary historian.

Moyer is the author of two books: Chewing the Fat - An Oral History of Italian Foodways from Fascism to Dolce Vita (Medea, 2015).[1], and The Eternal Table - A Cultural History of Food in Rome (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018)[2]

Chewing the Fat has been hailed as an important contribution to the demythologization of Italian food, and particularly the romanticization of the cucina povera that has taken place in the last decade or two. She analyzes the notion of “authenticity” and reveals how some of the best-loved myths of Italian food are part of an invented set of traditions, but explains why those have been an important part of societal healing and cultural progress. In his review in The Independent Christopher Hirst indicates how Moyer's work reveals that "the commonly held belief in Italy's bounteous gastronomic tradition is so much baloney."[3]

Her more recent book The Eternal Table takes a different set of assumptions to task, more specifically about the city of Rome and its cuisine. Suggesting that immigration is key to understanding Roman food, Moyer again takes issue with romanticized notions of authenticity at a time when Italy and Rome in particular is struggling its welcome, or lack thereof, to migrants and refugees. Commenting on the book, noted historian of food Rachel Laudan notes that "while the table may have been near-eternal, the vagaries of politics and war, religious belief and migration brought one change after another to the food on that table."[4]

She teaches at the University of Siena campus in Arrezzo, and has also taught at the Università di Roma Tor Vergata and the University of Oklahoma in Arrezzo. She has lectured at numerous US institutions including Yale, New York University, and Boston University.

A native of Ohio, she is a graduate of the University of Toledo and of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has lived in Italy since 1990.


  1. Moyer-Nocchi, Karima (2015). Chewing the Fat: An Oral History of Italian Foodways from Fascism to Dolce Vita. ISBN 9780996546607. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. The Eternal Table: A Cultural History of Food in Rome. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. "Chewing the Fat by Karima Moyer-Nocchi, book review". The Independent. 18 November 2015.
  4. "The Eternal Table: A Cultural History of Food in Rome" – via rowman.com.

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