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Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City Hardcover – March 29, 2016
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“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.” —Epicurious
“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
"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." —PureWow
“[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.” —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. She has created two mobile dining apps and blogs at KatieParla.com/blog. @katieparla
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. @kristinagill
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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.)
-Classics and Variations
recipes include Spaghetti alla Gricia, Amatriciana Estiva (Summer Amatriciana), and Gnocchi
-Cucina Ebaica (this is the cuisine of the Roman Jews)
recipe examples are Concia (fried and marinated zucchini), Anchovy and Frisee Casserole, and Honey Soaked Matzo Fritters
-Quinto Quarto (this is the most "out there" of the chapters, recipes using the often-discarded parts of the animal)
some of the recipes included are Grilled Pig's Liver, Sweetbreads with Marsala Wine, and Tripe with Tomato Sauce, Mint and Pecorino.
featuring recipes for Microgreen Salad with Hazelnuts and Pecorino, Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice (Pomodori con Riso), and a Shaved Artichoke Salad.
-Bread and Pizza
including such dishes as Pizza Bianca e Pizza Rossa, Pizza Romana (which is a thin crust Roman-style pizza), and a Ciabattini bread, as well as instructions on making a "biga" or starter.
recipes include Castagnole (fried dough balls with sugar--who doesn't love that!?), Panna Cotta, and several varieties of Roman cookies.
make cocktails using vodka, bourbon, and various flavored liqueurs.
In addition to the recipes, there is an informative section in the beginning that defines all the ingredients and gives recommendations for the best cook's tools and types of ingredients to use. There is also a good deal of background information about the history and culture of Rome spread throughout the pages.
This is an interesting book for learning about how the culture of Rome has impacted it's cuisine-and vice versa-and has many authentic recipes (both traditional and updated) to help give you a taste of the Eternal City without needing to find your passport.
On the other hand, if you're just looking for a family-friendly update to your typical Spaghetti and Meatballs or Lasagna Italian night, this book probably isn't for you.
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
Highly recommend this. Great coffee table cookbook.
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.