Food - Drink
What Does 'Authentic' Food Actually Mean?
By CYRENA GOURDEAU
In the streets of Paris, there is a fast food chain of taco shops called O'Tacos, with the slogan "Original French Tacos," but those French tacos are nothing like tacos at all. The French Tacos certainly couldn’t be called an authentic taco, but authenticity can be quite hard to pinpoint when it comes to cuisine.
Chef Jenny Dorsey suggests authenticity refers to a specific point of view towards a culture's traditional dish and a specific time, such as childhood memories of certain foods cooked by a loved one. Authentic-tasting food can also refer to whether or not there is an adherence to regional flavor principles or flavor profiles.
Others say that in order to recognize the authenticity of a dish, the restaurant owner must come from the same region as the cuisine they are serving. The word's Greek roots—"autos" means "self" and "hentes" means "doer and being"—were used by writer Sejal Sukhadwala to define it as "dishes that are true to themselves and the person cooking them."