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The Food of Italy Paperback – June 2, 1992
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As with The Food of France, Root gives us here a survey of the food of an entire country. The country here is, of course, Italy. The book details the varieties and specialities of each region in Italy, which each make up a chapter in the book.
As with The Food of France, Root examines not only the specialities and food of a particular region, he discusses also what it is in terms of taste, ingredients and cooking methods that makes a particular dish distinctly of that region. Beyond that, he also examines the history, geography and native food resources of a region in considering what it is that has gone into making the food of that region distinctly so. He studs each examination with charming details and anecdotes. And he does this all with methodical meticulousness.
In each chapter, Root will start with examining the history, geography and available food resources of the region. Each chapter is divided roughly into the various major cities and districts that comprise the particular region being discussed. The food of each city and district is then discussed, starting with the savoury dishes and ending the sweet. Each chapter finishes off with a discussion of the wine and alcoholic beverages of that region.
Mostly, he tells it with inimitable style. However, unlike The Food of France, there were times with The Food of Italy when I felt it a bit of a slog to read. Quite literally from time to time I just felt like I was wading through a listing of descriptions of different types of food.Read more ›
But one must not disparage the content of this less-than-ecstatic reportage: there is more on Italian food recorded here than in any other book I've been able to find in English. He sytematically hits the culinary high points of the entire country, region by region. Unfortunately, much of what he recorded is now lost, or at least homogenized into one national cuisine. Travelers to Italy will be forgiven for assuming that pizza is as much Florentine as it is Neopolitan now that Florence boasts maybe 50 good pizzerie. The highly local traditions Root recorded have largely disappeared. So consider this book to be a touching record of a lost gustatory landscape and of the heroic, not always inspired, travels of a lonely American far from his home in France.
There are maps showing the food specialties of every Italian region and the best cities to visit for great eating. Each city is rated on a map, so you can easily create your own travel itinerary.
And there's a long chapter for each region, describing it special food and wine. Just the thing to feed daydreams.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have two copies of this fabulous book. One I leave at home, pristine on my book shelf. The other I cut into the sections which cover the places we are going to visit on the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Phyllis F. Perkins
This book was very helpful when new were in Italy. we knew what to expect in the foods for the different regions we visited.Published on August 28, 2014 by Kathleen Frisina
Insight into the people and places of Italia, through our stomachs. You wanna know why we say "the sweet life" instead of "the good life"? -- it's all here. Read morePublished on August 9, 2014 by Annie Lanzillotto author of L is for Lion
though written fifty-odd years ago, Root's tour of the provinces and towns is useful to the tourist or vacation-dweller today, and his prose is so well-crafted, anyone would enjoy... Read morePublished on January 21, 2014 by Beel
a gift so i can keep mine. this is the best all round book on italian cooking in print. not a cook book but a travel book to all the great cooking experiences in italy , not the up... Read morePublished on December 22, 2013 by J. craig
Bought this book years ago just before a trip to Italy; made the trip so much more enjoyable. Now out of print, but still a treasure. Read morePublished on February 3, 2013 by Bugsy
The most complete history of food in Italy I've ever seen, wonderful, worth the price. Every province seems to be covered. You will enjoy reading this one.Published on October 27, 2012 by Dominic Cavalucci