In the food world, it’s tempting to want to categorise dishes as “authentic” or “inauthentic”. But what on earth is "authentic" food?
It's a difficult idea to pin down. The influences of travel, trade and other cultural factors, the availability of ingredients and changes in technology and society are all elements that constantly reshape our approach towards food. The word itself comes from ancient Greek, “autos” meaning "self" and “hentes” implying "being". A working definition of "authentic food" could be "dishes which are true to themselves and the person cooking them".
Via an insightful episode of Maekan's podcast “Making It up” in which the hosts discussed about what authenticity means in food culture, we came across The cleaver quarterly, an online and in-print journal that covers Chinese cuisine as a global phenomenon. Their goal is to juxtapose Chinese regional cuisines with the diasporic offshoots. They recently hosted a roundtable to unpack questions of food hybridity that gave us new lenses to look at this subject.
🔴 When we refer to something as “inauthentic”, this is probably just related to our own little living experience.
🔴 Authenticity constantly evolves and adapts to new conditions.
🔴 The question really ought not be, “Is this food authentic?” but rather, “For whom is this food authentic? And for what time is this food authentic?”
Inspired by this new challenge, we played around with Certa’s logo, creating a new visual touchpoint. Evoking traditions, half circle is fixed. The other half is fluid and expresses our willing to adapt to an ever-changing world, be responsive to new scenarios and complementary to unexpected culinary combinations.