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

4.6 out of 5 stars 530 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Cooks who value history and context as crucial ingredients in their recipes will treasure Tasting Rome...One of the book’s many strengths is its ability to translate several thousand years of the city’s cuisine for today’s reader and home cook...The authors cover some major territory here, culling the best of Rome from peripheral neighborhoods and downloading kitchen wisdom from both the city’s more innovative restaurants and generations-old institutions.” New York Times Book Review

“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.”

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

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

"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."  

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.” —Epicurious

“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

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.

Kristina Gill is the food and drinks editor at Design*Sponge, 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.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Clarkson Potter; NO-VALUE edition (March 29, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0804187185
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0804187183
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.06 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.3 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 530 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
530 global ratings

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5.0 out of 5 stars Rome and Beyond - A Fresh Look!
By Adrienne on April 11, 2016
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. This was a unique, tasty, easy starter; however, next time I will place only one anchovy on each toast

Pollo alla Romana/Chicken with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers. This is a Roman favorite summer stew served alone or on a bun. The dish’s colors reflect those of the city flag. We found it tasty, but not bursting with flavor. It was time consuming.

Brutti ma Buoni/Hazelnut Meringues. These are great, best eaten fresh. They are a little time consuming, but the uniqueness and flavor make the effort worthwhile.

This book will make a very nice addition to one’s library both for its inspiring recipes and visual appeal. The table of contents appears below.

I received a copy of this book from BloggingforBooks in return for my honest opinion. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Experience All Around
By Amber on May 18, 2016
If you never make a single recipe in this book, it is still worth having in your collection. It just so happened that when it arrived, I was actually talking about Rome-- ancient, middle ages and present-- with my daughter, but I had not anticipated this book becoming part of our learning adventure. You see, when I take my daughter on these "trips" around the world, I love the learning that I myself do in the process, and with a book like this, we could not only do both but also talk about another aspect-- how our taste buds affect our learning and our culture.

Finally, as we look through the recipes, we find authentic dishes placed in their traditional contexts and often with a twist here and there. When possible, I hope to find the squash blossoms and attempt to take myself back to my time in Positano when I first discovered them as a delicious appetizer. My daughter is looking forward to making... you guessed it... pizza! However, it is worth noting that this is not your standard 10 easy dishes in 20 minutes cookbook. Ingredients must be hunted down (and in KC, I don't see this as much of an issue) and the food will take the time it takes to prepare a hearty meal with love. As with any cultural interaction, there will be foods that sound good and others that don't sound as good. This is also a cookbook that has a few "kid-friendly" recipes, but is not primarily for this purpose. You may have some adventurous kids out there, but few kids (or parents) would be so open to a butter and anchovy crostini, tripe, beef tongue, alcoholic beverages or a shaved artichoke salad. But I bet you'll love the bread and sweets chapters in particular with a variety of ways to make pizzas, fried dough balls, or Zabaione Gelato drenched in Coffee.

With pictures galore for the staring, stories and history, whether you plan on making the recipes or not, it's a treasure for my book shelf that I hope will be there for a long time. Will you make a mess? Probably. But if you venture into making these recipes, it's guaranteed you will also make some lasting and delicious memories that won't soon be forgotten, as Rome itself has not forgotten its culinary roots.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More than a Cookbook, it is a real city guide into Rome's cuisine
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4.0 out of 5 stars Real Italian Flavour.
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