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Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City Hardcover – March 29, 2016

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“You’ll see Rome though the eyes and taste buds of Katie Parla and Kristina Gill in this attractive new cookbook. They lightly sketch Roman history through its neighborhoods and their culinary specialties, like offal in Testaccio, Jewish foods from the ghetto and the cooking of Libyan immigrants. Along the way, they describe old recipes that have gone out of fashion and how chefs innovate based on them.” New York Times

“A lively and educational read for anyone who has visited and fallen in love with the Eternal City, anyone planning a trip there (whether soon or someday), food history buffs, and fans of flatbread.” Epicurious

“A vivid portrayal of Roman food culture, both traditional and contemporary.” T Magazine

“A fantastically detailed look into Rome's most remarkable dishes… a new classic in the Italian food library.”  Saveur

Tasting Rome explores both modern Roman cuisine as well as the history of flavors and recipes that have evolved with the city's population.” Eater 

"The survey of Roman food culture [in Tasting Rome] highlights traditional and contemporary dishes alike, proving that you don’t need to parlare italiano to master classics like cacio e pepe." InStyle
"[This] excellent new cookbook celebrates Rome’s exciting food scene with some easy innovations on classic Italian." —Bloomberg.com

"When we think Rome, we think pizza and pasta (and can’t get there soon enough). But Katie Parla and Kristina Gill, two Americans who have each lived in the Italian capital for more than a decade, want us to know that there’s so much more to their adopted city—couscous from Rome’s ancient Jewish quarter, big platters of chicken stewed with peppers, creamy fish stews and peppery rice balls, to name just a few."  PureWow

“A tribute to the unique character of Roman cooking, its time-honored dishes, and its new creations rooted in traditional flavors…[Parla and Gill] focus on the foods that highlight the spirit of Rome and make their selected recipes truly accessible for home cooks… The perfect Roman holiday for every Italophile.” BookPage

“The kitchens of Rome come alive in this cookbook celebrating classic and contemporary dishes from today’s Roman table. In more than 85 recipes, food and travel journalists Parla and Gill bring their city’s characteristic cuisine to the home cook…[a] solid introduction to Roman cooking.” Publishers Weekly

"A tribute to the regional cuisine of Italy’scapital and largest city. Ebony

“For foodies (and fans of Italy) around the world, this is a must-have for the kitchen library.”  Skylife Magazine

“[In Tasting Rome], journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill go deep on the ancient and modern foods of Italy's capital city, where the traditions are as unique as the city is historic. Recipes run from the city's classic cacio e pepe and fried rice suppli to contemporary contributions from Rome's new generation of chefs.”

“This book captures the beauty of artisan food! The combination of recipes and photographs make me feel as if I am back in Rome.”—Alice Waters, chef/owner of Chez Panisse and author of The Art of Simple Food
Tasting Rome is the definitive vehicle for viewing Roman culture through its food. It is filled with exquisite recipes, fascinating craftspeople, accomplished chefs and stunning photography. They all make for a must have book for any food lover or home cook.” —Andrew Zimmern, chef and author
“This book is as much a comprehensive study as it is a love affair with one of my favorite cities in the world.” —Marc Vetri, chef/owner of the Vetri Family of Restaurants and author of Mastering Pasta

"For years I’ve used Katie and Kristina’s on-point insights and recommendations when traveling to Rome. I’m thrilled, now, to be following them into the kitchen, recipes and inspired photographs in tow. Tasting Rome celebrates the food, recipes, and culture of one of the world’s great cities written and photographed by two women primed to know its stories and secrets "—Heidi Swanson, author of Near & Far

"I dare you to get more than 10 pages into this book without attempting to purchase a plane ticket to Rome. With verve and honesty, Katie Parla and Kristina Gill have painted a culinary portrait of a beautifully complicated city forever at the crossroads of past and future. Impeccably researched and beautifully designed, Tasting Rome is essential reading for anyone who has ever twirled pasta around a fork." —Talia Baiocchi, editor-in-chief of Punch
 “I plan to keep learning from Tasting Rome on repeated readings for years to come. It is a gem.” —Brooks Headley, chef/owner of Superiority Burger 

“In a time when food trends seem to change by the hour, Tasting Rome is a delightfully devoted to tradition. This cookbook is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for your dinner table and is bound to make everyone excited to sit down and eat.” —Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge

 “Reading Tasting Rome is like getting a private tour of the city with two of the most in-the-know Roman transplants. The recipes are so refreshingly not trendy: They're old school and old world and I'm so happy these two made such an effort to preserve and celebrate them. Couple with Kristina Gill's incredible photography, this book is a keeper." —Julia Turshen, co-author of It’s All Good
"This is not just a cookbook! Katie and Kristina pack in history and culture into the story of Rome’s rich and delicious food history. Their narrative draws on the ancient, creative, and progressive interpretation of an Italian regional style, all of which are timeless and continue to be relevant, fundamental, and influential in modern international cuisine.”—Jenn Louis, chef/co-owner of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern and author of Pasta By Hand
"In Tasting Rome, Kristina and Katie have brought Rome to you with a festival of food and drink. It's such a gorgeous book with well thought out recipes, I'm booking my plane tickets now!"—Justin Gellatly, co-founder of Bread Ahead and author of Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding

About the Author

KATIE PARLA moved to Rome in 2003 after graduating from Yale. She holds a sommelier certificate and a master's degree in Italian gastronomic culture. She writes about Roman food and beverage culture, and has contributed to and edited many travel guides. She often appears as a Rome expert on the History Channel and the university lecture circuit. She has created two mobile dining apps and blogs at KatieParla.com/blog. 

KRISTINA GILL is the food and drinks editor at DesignSponge.com, a home and lifestyle site with over 1.2 million readers per month.  Her original recipes, and those she hand-selects from celebrated authors, chefs, and readers have appeared weekly as the "In the Kitchen With" column since 2007. She is also a food and travel photographer.  Kristina transferred to Rome in 1999 after earning her BA from Stanford and her MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (March 29, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804187185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804187183
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This cookbook is so much more than just a cookbook! Thousands of people tour Rome every day - but without a native guide, it's impossible to know what real Roman life is like. That's what this cookbook provides - native guides who can introduce outsiders to what life is really like in Rome through authentic recipes and gorgeous photographs. Each recipe writeup provides more than just the ingredients and instructions with a picture - the authors provide in-depth history and information about the dish coupled with gorgeous photographs of both the recipes and candid shots of daily life.

Thinking you already have enough cookbooks and don't need another one? With its gorgeous photography and in-depth history, this is unlike any cookbook I have seen before (and I have a lot of cookbooks). It would make a great gift for both the chef and the traveler in your life. I highly recommend it!
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Format: Hardcover
A long, long time ago, my ancestors were Sheriffs on the hills of Rome. I visited Rome as a teenager, and loved the food. The pasta. The pizza. The gelato. Italian food is most everyone's favorite, but Roman food has it's own culture that few people have really experienced. Much of the Italian food in this country has been Americanized to the point of being hardly recognizable to it's true origins.

Tasting Rome, a cookbook by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill, is part cookbook, part culture lesson, and part history book.

The recipes are not what you would expect from an Italian cookbook, because it's not an *Italian* cookbook per se...it's a Roman cookbook. Romans use fresh, seasonal produce, and don't waste any part of the animal, so you will find recipes using beef tongue, chicken innards, and veal cartilage. There are also many different cultures living in the Eternal City, so there is an entire chapter dedicated to the recipes originating from the Jewish ghettoes.

There are eight chapters:
-Snacks, Starters, and Street Food
which include recipes for things such as three variations of Rice Croquettes, Torta Rustica (savory pie), and Fried Mozzarella with 'Nduja. ('Nduja is a spicy spreadable Italian salami.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oh no, another Italian cookbook! However, this one is unique in having some uncommon recipes as well as fascinating background information. The authors, Katie Parla and Kristina Gill, are expats who live and work in Italy: Katie as a food journalist and guide and Kristina as a food editor and freelance photographer. Researching the cuisine of Rome, they found it to be similar to ours in that migrants and immigrants have lent a hand in changing the ingredients, customs, and techniques of the local cuisine. The evolution is ongoing. The book contains classical as well as traditional recipes with modern innovations. One example is Pollo alla Romana, a summer chicken stew. The contemporary twist is serving it in a bun as a sandwich.

Divided by familiar themes, the chapters are filled with interesting recipes from Beef Tongue in Salsa Verda to Crackers with Rosemary. I was excited to see the recipe for Upside-Down Pizza made with einkorn flour, my latest favorite ingredient. There is even a chapter on drinks.

I was pleased to see an extensive section on ingredients and cooking equipment. It was great to learn about Fennel Pollen and Guanciale without having to search the Internet. In addition, the photography was pleasing with well-staged subjects, and the interspersed history lessons were quite interesting. Who knew there was a Roman Ghetto?

There are minor complaints. The authors emphasize the importance of using a scale when baking; however, weight measurements are missing in the biscotti, day of the dead cookies, sponge cake, and sweet buns recipes. In addition, why do I have to hunt the index for biscotti? The biscotti recipe is not under “biscotti” or “cookie”, but under “almond.”

I made three recipes:
Butter and Anchovy Crostini.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have stated, this book is part history, part travelogue, and part recipe book. I love the text and the wonderful pictures, but as I have been to Rome many times and learned a lot lot of Roman history and travel, I was most drawn to the recipes. They are very clearly written, well enough that someone who has not been to Rome could get them right. This is no mean accomplishment. We have made 5 of the dishes (in 5 days!) and look forward to working our way through the book. It you have any interest in Roman cooking, buy this book
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Format: Hardcover
Having recently revisited Rome for ten days, I was hotly anticipating this release. Tasting Rome does impeccable work of romanticizing the city and conjuring up nostalgia for those who have visited (I'm ready to go back!). Visually, Tasting Rome is a carefully staged trove of recipes with pleasing post card-y pictures. Most recipes are accompanied with a photo (hooray!) and the text is neatly arranged. The recipes themselves are fine and like many trattoria-recipes are simple and easy to execute. Like all simple recipes, there is and should be greater emphasis on the quality of the ingredients. Simply put, it's not worth whipping up cacio e pepe with Kraft Parmesan and McCormick finely ground black pepper.

I would buy this book for two reasons: You love Rome and have a coffee table, or you're living in Rome and have access to ingredients and can't read Italian.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher for a review. I was not required to write a positive review and I only review and rate products that I personally have reviewed.
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