Extraordinary seven-year battle for the origins of Australia’s favorite pub meal takes a bizarre turn – as dedicated fans claim the chicken parmigiana Aussie is NOT Italian
- Wikipedia editors continue to fight over the origins of chicken parmigiana for years
- The discussion began in 2014 arguing that Italian and American history was being ignored
- Iconic crumbled chicken dish first introduced to Australian pubs in the 1980s
An online battle over the origins of the much-loved chicken parmigiana has erupted on Wikipedia, as editors debate whether the dish is truly an Australian classic.
The entry for Chicken Parmigiana was last edited on Friday, as Wikipedia editors continue their seven-year discussion about the page leaning unfairly toward Australian culture.
The editor’s discussion page for the beloved dish has argued since 2014 that the roots of the parmigiana in Italy and American history should be highlighted.
Wikipedia editors continue years of struggle for the origin of the iconic Australian pub dish of chicken parmigiana (photo: stock image chicken parmigiana)
“ (In my opinion) someone seems to have an agenda to claim the dish as Australian, with the majority of sources claiming that the dish is of Italian-American origin, ” a Wikipedia editor wrote on a discussion page in 2015.
Another editor said the current Wikipedia page for the parmi is unfairly targeting Australia.
“The current version focuses heavily on the way the dish is prepared and consumed in Australia and does not adequately illustrate how chicken parmigiana is prepared and consumed in several other regions,” argued one editor.
The discussion started in 2014 arguing that the Italian and American history of crumbled chicken meal was ignored (photo: stock image of chicken parmigiana)
Others argue that the website can be traced back to its Italian origins and popularity in the United States – as chicken, veal, and eggplant parmes are common dishes in Italian restaurants.
“The dish may be common in Australia, but it’s not originally an Australian dish at all.”
Another editor said, “I think we should tone down the article’s Australian bias and add more about the history of the court and its prevalence in the United States.”
Food historian Jan O’Connell said the iconic parmi – crumbled chicken breast topped with melted cheese, tomato sauce and sometimes ham served with chips and salad – was first introduced to Australian pubs in the 1980s.
“You won’t find chicken parmigiana in any Italian cookbook,” Mrs. O’Connell said ABC Radio in 2019.
The parmigiana was originally made from eggplants in the 17th and 18th centuries as a delicacy in restaurants.
In the early 1900s, Italian migrants introduced the parmi to the Americans, which is often served on spaghetti or on a sandwich.
Food historian Jan O’Connell said the iconic parmi was first introduced to Australian pubs in the 1980s (photo: stock image of chicken parmigiana)