When I started Thoughts on the Table, I never would have thought that it’d reach its 67th episode, that it would feature so many amazing guests, and that it would have allowed me to approach Italian food and food culture from so many different angles! This episode’s guest is Melinda King, an established writer and editor who has worked in the food industry and who has an extensive background in science and history. In our chat, Melinda introduces herself and then shares her view on what Italian food really is, with what I think of as one of the most insightful analysis I have ever encountered!
During the episode, Melinda mentions the book by Alberto Capatti and Massimo Montanari titled Italian Cuisine – A Cultural History, a wonderful read for anyone interested in understanding where modern Italian food comes from and in the premises of its very identity.
If you want to know more about Melinda, please check out her bio below. To get in touch with her, please leave a comment or contact her at setteveli21 AT gmail DOT com.
The music in the episode is by www.purple-planet.com.
Melinda “Mindy” King is a writer and editor finishing her graduate thesis at the Università degli Studi di Padova in Agricultural Sciences and Italian Food and Wine, currently living in the Veneto countryside tending vines, animals, and a cornfield. With ten years in publishing management, research, freelance writing and illustration (having ghostwritten over 320 books), she earned degrees in European History (emphasis Medieval and Renaissance Studies—science and medicine), Anthropology, and Environmental Sciences having studied at Chapman University, Universidad de Monterrey, The British Institute, and Università di Firenze. With a background in wine studies (Sommelier, distribution, sensory analysis, and retail) she now applies herself to land management and training techniques. A lifetime of restaurant management and cooking (Colombian-Spanish and Swedish chef-family of wine and paella fiends), she has an eye to quality and tracking, as well as a sense of humor. Meanwhile, she has been a teacher and translator having traveled and worked in over seventy countries. Born in Santa Ana, California, spending much of her childhood in Mexico, Mindy moved to Italy in college to study, and finally found her home. Melding history and science, her focus on viticulture and vinification emphasizes vini autoctoni d’Italia (native grapes). The importance of this topic, she believes, is in the manner the grapes are cared for, and the people who do the work. The theme of her life is “inviting people to share their stories,” and Italian grapes have much to say. Investigating vines in the Etna volcano region (specifically Nerello Mascalese) in Sicily, she is further inspired on the beautiful connections between time, tradition, and soil. Her obsession is Italian “terroir,” and the historical meaning behind what “tastes good.” She is grateful to have parents with deep curiosity and dynamic appetites. Science is the study of energy. Taste is the observation of culture. Italian food are these things, in perfect practice.