The real Marende with Speck

Illustration about South Tyrolean tradition being sold to tourists



South Tyrol is rather new to the game of globalization, being protected by the Alps from outer influences for years. Since it stepped into this game, it heavily pushed on their best quality: Tourism. But in the vicious circle of selling their culture, they exaggerated their peculiarities and diminished what their traditions where all about.

The illustration represents the typical “Marende”, a meal in the late afternoon based on various typical food like speck, cheese, schüttelbrot and kaminwurz. They way it is illustrated though is particularly decorative and aesthetically pleasing to the viewer, in a smiliar manner of how the region tries to make their culture more appealing to the outer people. This damages the actual traditions though (resembled by the modest cutting board and knife at the centre) which gets diminished and brought to a level where even native South Tyroleans start believing what they are told from the branding identity of the region rather than the culture. A simple example is what happened to speck: it is a typical smoked pork which farmers got from their own pigs. With the advent of selling South Tyrol to the public, they did not have enough animals to produce the amount of speck they needed. It ended up with the speck being almost always from pigs which are not from the region or nearby places, but is still sold to us as 100% Tyrolean speck.