For all the demands it makes on one's imagination, the Riviera is but a scrap of beach to the whole body of the Mediterranean, a maritime nook where France meets Italy and mountains meet sea. Genoa is the main Italian city of the region, Nice speaks for the French, and the Riviera is more or less everything in between. It's a land of ancient languages still spoken and equally old traditions still practiced. Colman Andrews brings it all to life. His Flavors of the Riviera
can't be called a cookbook and left at that; there's far too much more going on. The recipes lead the food adventurer deeper and deeper into the country. Andrews combines a scholar's taste for history and culture with a sybarite's joy at a well-laid table, allowing you to smell and taste the food as you learn about its origins. There's more to it than Salade Niçoise--though that dish is here--or ratatouille. Although wealth and privilege come immediately to mind when the Riviera is considered, the food itself rises out of poverty. The central food tradition, then, is one of maximizing the flavors of humble ingredients--that, and making the unexpected guest feel welcome. Andrews not only takes you there, but he shows you how it's done, all with grace, style, and a keen sense of pleasure.
From Publishers Weekly
The executive editor of Saveur magazine and author of Catalan Cuisine leads a lively and informative tour of the fabled French and Italian coastline that is a treat for the armchair traveler as well as the cook. Punctuated with amusing essays and quotations and illustrated with eight pages of color photographs, the text and nearly 150 recipes give a compelling picture of this region's cuisine, which is, according to the author, often misunderstood. Despite the Riviera's reputation for opulence, many of its best dishes were born of native frugality and based on imaginative combinations of homey ingredients. Some recipes will be familiar?Ratatouille and Pissaladiere for example, but even old favorites have a twist (the French don't cook the vegetables in a real Salade Nicoise) and there are some light, unusual dishes such as Tagliatelle with Green Beans, Potatoes and Pesto and Fresh Cod with Anchovy Vinaigrette. Divided into sections which largely follow the terrain (e.g., "From the Farms and Gardens," "The Sea"), the book includes a detailed chapter on wines, a guide to some local restaurants, sources for hard-to-find ingredients and an extensive bibliography.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.