Coffee: A Tradition and a Trend With Katie Parla

Coffee: A Tradition and a Trend With Katie Parla


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Cappuccino and espresso are part of Italian culture just like pizza and pasta. But where are they from and what's the true way to caffe' Italiano?

Coffee is, perhaps after wine, the beverage most associated with Italy. In spite of it being synonymous with Italian culture, the caffeinated drink didn't really take off until the early twentieth century, due to its foreign origins and status as a luxury good. This talk will chart coffee's arrival in Italy, the aristocratic cafe culture that it fueled, and the ways in which Italian colonial campaigns in coffee's ancestral home of Ethiopia shaped coffee's problematic and effective marketing and publicity in Italy, catapulting it to the supremely popular drink that it is today.

Led by food writer and Italian culture expert, Katie Parla, this interactive seminar will explore coffee culture in Italy. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how coffee came to be Italy’s national drink.

Katie Parla, a New Jersey native, is a Rome-based food and beverage journalist, culinary guide, and educator. She is the author of the Saveur Award-winning food and travel site KatieParla.com, the ebook Eating & Drinking in Rome, more than twenty travel guides, and the coauthor of cookbooks including American Sfoglino, Flour Lab, and Tasting Rome. Parla has appeared on and produced Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and F*ck, That’s Delicious with Action Bronson and served as a culinary consultant on Season 2 of Netflix’s Master of None. Her travel writing, recipes, and food criticism appear in the New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, Australian Gourmet Traveller, the Guardian, AFAR, Condé Nast Traveler, Punch, Eater, and more. She co-hosts the Gola, a podcast about Italian food and culture, with Dr. Danielle Callegari.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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