Eating My Way Through Italy: Heading Off the Main Roads to Discover the Hidden Treasures of the Italian Table

Elizabeth Minchilli. Griffin, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-13304-5
Minchilli (Eating Rome) has lived in Italy for 40 years, since her parents moved the family to Rome from St. Louis when she was 12. Encyclopedic knowledge earned over decades informs this hybrid guide, cookbook with 34 recipes, and deep dive into essential ingredients such as Parmigiano Reggiano. To escape the crowds, Minchilli encourages visitors to Florence to head outside the city gates by bus or on foot and suggests that tourists may want to exit the “almost Disneyland-like area” around Venice’s Saint Mark’s Square and hightail it to the less busy islands nearby. The industrious author ferrets out unpretentious eateries like the fornelli of Bari—butcher shops that grill customers’ meat and may have a few tables. She goes anchovy fishing on the Amalfi coast and hunts down one of the few people remaining on Sardinia who makes thin-stretched filindeu pasta. Accessible recipes range from octopus cooked in the liquid it exudes to a tart filled with ricotta, cherry jam, and balsamic vinegar. Minchilli’s writing is crisply informational and often funny. Squeamish about seeing fish served with their heads? “Get over it,” she commands. Minchilli’s sure grip on Italian culture makes her an excellent culinary guide. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2018
Release date: 05/22/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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