This book is dedicated to all those who helped me become who I am as a human being, a writer, and an intellectual. You know who you are.
My first thanks go to my family in Rome, for their unflinching love and sustenance despite my wandering and restlessness.
Thanks to all my coworkers at Gambero Rosso magazine and Citta del Gusto, and to the direttore, Stefano Bonilli, who allowed me to explore food culture beyond what was expected from a feature writer.
A special thank you to Doran Ricks, who, besides guiding me through the intricacies of the English language, encouraged me to keep on writing when I was ready to drop everything and go lie on a beach.
Many friends and colleagues helped me in different ways with specific topics and chapters: for the introduction, Krishnendu Ray; for Chapter 1, Fritz Allhoff, Dave Monroe, and Miguel Sanchez Romera; for Chapter 2, Kyla Wazana Tompkins; for Chapter 3, Warren Belasco; for Chapter 4, Lisa Heldke, Alice Julier, and Laura Lindenfeld; for Chapter 5, Myron Beasley, Shelly Eversley, Jennifer Morgan, Robert Reid-Pharr (who also introduced me to the men's health literature and to the amazing work of Samuel R. Delany), and Psyche Williams-Forson; and for Chapter 6, Rachel Black and Lucy Long.
Much affection and gratitude to everybody in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, especially Judith Gilbride, Marion Nestle, Jennifer Berg, Amy Bentley, Lisa Sasson, Domingo Pinero, Anne McBride, Damian Mosley, Sierra Burnett, Kelli Ranieri, and Andy Bellatti.
Thanks to my fellow foodies in academia for their continuous encouragement, inspiration, and feedback, especially Ken Albala, Arlene Avakian, Anne Bellows, Charlotte Biltekoff, Janet Chrzan, Carole Counihan, Julia Csergo, Mitchell Davis, Netta Davis, Jonathan Deutsch, Darra Goldstein, Annie Hawk Lawson, Jean-Pierre Lemasson, Khary Polk, Elaine Power, Maryl Rosofky, Richard Wilk, and everybody in the Association for the Study of Food and Society.
I could not have written this book without the stimulation from my students both at New York University and at the Citta del Gusto school in Rome, who really taught me how to get my ideas through.
A final thank you to Kathryn Earle, Julia Hall, Julene Knox, and Kathleen May at Berg, who made my work a real pleasure. Also thank you to Justin Dyer, who turned the usually tedious process of copy editing into a constructive moment!