Helen Rosner in Eater, Dec. 23 2015, on “What the Mast Brothers Scandal Tells Us About Ourselves”:
One of the ascendant virtues of the new culinary landscape is the murky, poorly defined quality of authenticity. It’s an idea that means wildly different things depending on who’s saying it and what they’re applying it to, but in all circumstances it boils down to a fundamental notion of quality by fiat: if something is authentic, it is necessarily good. Authenticity implies a purity of history, a purity of purpose — in short, if something is authentic, it isn’t enjoyed because we’ve been barraged with external indicators that have instructed us to enjoy it; it’s enjoyed because it is inherently enjoyable. Inauthentic things need to be marketed and positioned and sold. Authentic things simply exist, and are perfect, and in their perfection they handily sell themselves.