Food TV Shows Are All Going to Italy

Everyone’s in Italy this year — including Alison Roman, whose new cooking series takes us, like half the people on my Instagram feed, on a tour of the Amalfi Coast. CNN announced yesterday that Roman’s four episodes (More than) a cooking show, which was originally slated for the now-defunct CNN+, will air on CNN this fall. The show invites the audience into Roman’s kitchen in New York and to join her on her foreign travels. Sure, that sounds nice, if a little familiar.

Among Bobby and Giada in Italy; Stanley Tucci: Looking for Italy; episodes of Chef’s Table, Someone feed Phil, top chefand Salt Fatty Acid HeatI can’t help but feel a little Italy-ed-out for the past few years, like I’ve reached my capacity to watch clips of cheese making or people eating perfectly crispy Neapolitan pizza. (And that doesn’t even include Italy’s dominance over fictional food-adjacent shows like Netflix’s upcoming from scratch and the second season of HBO’s hospitality theme The white lotus.) Now I’m no stranger to inventing my own eat pray love spaghetti scene, and the green-eyed monster and I were in close company this summer as I scrolled past the weddings and rented villas of so many friends and influencers on Lake Como.

Read:Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni reunite again at the Law & Order Premiere Event

Still, it all starts to get repetitive, especially when you consider how rarely this in-depth treatment is given to other countries. Italy and France, by the way, are countries and cuisines whose regionality gets its due in the food landscape of the United States – while so many places in the world remain simplified in the culinary imagination: a visit in an episode of a food series here and there, mostly relying on same big cities and chefs.

It’s as if major networks, wanting a guaranteed hit, see the success of all this Italy-focused TV and think: great let’s do that again – which is almost certainly what is happening (streaming overload led Time to claim last year: “Welcome to the TV era of peak redundancy”). CNN is a perfect example of that: Not only is Roman Italy’s show dropping this fall, featuring the Amalfi Coast, but also the continuation of Tucci’s, which will further explore the regions of Italy after visiting Tuscany, Naples, the Coast from Amalfi, Rome, Bologna, Milan and Sicily last year.

It all feels a bit safe: showing potential travelers from the US food that is already quite familiar, in a country that feels like a safe bet, reinforcing Western expectations about which cuisines are valuable and which countries are worth traveling to . I like to imagine Italian beach moments a la The talented Mr Ripleybut what more daydreams could we have as food travel shows delve deeper into less frequently depicted places?

Read:Maren Morris Doesn’t Feel “Comfortable” Going to CMAs Amid Aldean Feud
Previous post
Eddie Hearn threatens Jake Paul with potential lawsuit over ‘idiotic’ fight fixing allegations
Next post
Here’s how to customize Gboard using Rboard Theme Creator and Patcher