Ken, who goes to culinary school in Florence, Italy, weighs in on the subject of focaccia:
Bell peppers, zucchini and tomatoes are all native to the new world. Especially the latter is probably the fundamental ingredient in “authentic” Italian cuisine. Thinking of the parallel development of pizza is especially pertinent. In terms of the potato it would be like saying gnocchi are not really Italian. Regardless, I think the point is if we are to talk about the authenticity of food the focus should be on its regional development. And not on the origin of various ingredients. If we were to do that, most cuisines would have very few “authentic dishes”.
True, indeed. As I’ve often written, the idea of “authenticity” is as much a “when” as a “where”. Thanks Ken!