Pasta, Pane, Vino: Deep Travels Through Italy’s Food Culture

Matt Goulding. Harper Wave/Bourdain, $35 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-265509-7
Goulding adds a delightful third entry to his Roads & Kingdoms series (after Grape, Olive, Pig) by chronicling his culinary travels throughout Italy. From the islands of Sicily and Sardinia to the northern tips of Piedmont and Lake Como, Goulding explores how Italian staples, such as pizza, pasta, cheese, bread, and wine not only vary from region to region, but from street to street of any village. Using fascinating historical material, interviews with Italian food professionals, and his own experiences, Goulding presents a rich, vibrant food culture that “is not frozen in time,” but is open to “a new wave of cooks, farmers, bakers, shepherds, young and old, trying to negotiate the weight of the past with the possibilities of the future.” In one chapter, he shadows a family of cheese makers who continue to make mozzarella cheese as their family has done for four generations, while experimenting with artisanal cheeses like “whiskey-soaked blue cheese.” Goulding records his discoveries—as well as travel advice (he explains the difference between a ristorante, trattoria, osteria, and enoteca), restaurant recommendations, and tips for eating like a native (“Enthusiastic eating is an easy way to both show and gain respect”)—in delightful, funny prose (“Italians are genius shoppers, who believe it’s their God-given duty to return from the market with the best meat, fish, and produce possible”). For travelers and Italophiles, this is a wonderful culinary guide. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, Inkwell. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-265510-3
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