#12: What Is Authentic Food, Really?

Ah, authenticity… It’s a tricky, sensitive topic in the world of food today. Southern food—with all its cultural ties to African-American communities—is being whitewashed, Asian food is being modernised and fusionised to suit Western palates (though they can definitely turn out to be greater than the sum of its parts), and it seems no one is safe from criticism about authenticity, not even Gordon Ramsay.

Though the conversation on authentic food is less disparaging here in Malaysia, it’s still an intriguing, if not immediately important, topic to tackle. So I talked to Dr. Eric Olmedo, a sociologist and food anthropologist, about whether some of the famous foods in Malaysian cuisine are truly, authentically ‘Malaysian’.