Archive for category: Books

Book Review: Salumi by Micheal Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn

Book Review: Salumi by Micheal Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn

Book Review: Salumi by Micheal Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn’s Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing was a popular and more general look at making cured meats.  In the author’s latest pork crazed book, Salumi, Ruhlman and Polcyn focus on eight basic categories of Italian salami (plural salumi), including: guanciale, coppa, spalla, lardo, lonza, pancetta, [...]

How Italian Food Conquered the World

How Italian Food Conquered the World

(photo: The cover of John Mariani’s How Italian Food Conquered the World.) After reading through the first chapter of John Mariani’s How Italian Food Conquered the World I felt both enlightened and stimulated and overwhelmed and short of breath.  The former feeling was a result of the numerous “fun facts” scattered throughout the first chapter ranging from the history of the restaurant in Europe [...]

Cucina Povera by Pamela Sheldon Johns

Cucina Povera by Pamela Sheldon Johns

(photo: the author of Cucina Povera, Pamela Sheldon Johns) If you were to tell people that Italy and America have a few things in common you’d most likely receive some awkward stares.  After all, America is a country driven by capitalism and rationality while Italy operates under a lifestyle driven worldview with importance placed on living well and understanding the subtleties of day to day existence [...]

Impariamo l’Italiano con l’Aiuto della Mano! (Let’s Learn Italian with the Help of our Hand!) by Giuliana Sica

Impariamo l’Italiano con l’Aiuto della Mano! (Let’s Learn Italian with the Help of our Hand!) by Giuliana Sica

When folks discover that I have an Italian last time, as well as parents who were born in Italy, they immediately ask if I speak Italian.  My answer is a definite yes though I always qualify my fluency with the fact that I grew up speaking a regional, southern Italian, dialect. Dialects, of course, are examples of full blown languages with [...]

Book Review: Domenica Marchetti The Glorious Pasta of Italy

Book Review: Domenica Marchetti The Glorious Pasta of Italy

(photo: the photos found in the Glorious Pasta of Italy are truly impressive; on the left is a photo of our pasta pesto)  There’s no way around the obvious fact that Italians are slaves to pasta.  The typical Italian (northern or southern in origin) consumes pasta multiple times per week, in various shapes and sizes, and in varying dishes from [...]

Dan Amatuzzi’s Italian Wine for the Student Review and Book Giveaway

Dan Amatuzzi’s Italian Wine for the Student Review and Book Giveaway

(photo: grapes in Calabria, thanks to Pierro Morello for the photo) A Student of Italian Wine  Dan Amatuzzi is a modest guy when it comes to wine.  And modesty isn’t the word that comes to mind when you consider Dan served as the sommelier at Del Posto in New York City with an estimated 2300 bottles of wine and arguably the most comprehensive [...]

Italian Children’s Book: Colors Italiano by Sonya Caruso

Italian Children’s Book: Colors Italiano by Sonya Caruso

Our 22 month old son Tommaso has been on a frenetic streak over the last 6 months, that is to say, he has both the energy and ferocity to take on any task including doing full fledge sprints with theatrical spins and twirls, pooping dramatically, greeting family members and complete strangers ad nauseam, separating his parents from a warm embrace and kiss [...]

Clara’s Kitchen – Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression Review

Clara’s Kitchen – Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression Review

A while back I wrote about my definition of the la cucina povera or the kitchen of the poor.  I view la cucina povera as a style of cooking centered on cooking with whatever, non bourgeois, ingredients are in the house.  My family in Calabria once cooked in the above manner (mostly due to economic reasons but also because what was “in [...]

The Geometry of Pasta

The Geometry of Pasta

See Below for Contest and Book Give Away! contest closed You have to admire any book that documents well over 110 authentic Italian pasta sauces and the hundreds of pasta shapes that marry best to a given sauce.  If a book goes further and contains beautifully rendered graphic shapes for each pasta then you have a timeless cookbook that should be [...]

The History of Pasta, Shapes, and Sauces: Encyclopedia of Pasta Review

The History of Pasta, Shapes, and Sauces: Encyclopedia of Pasta Review

The Italian People and Pasta Just in case you were having sleepless nights concerning the birthplace of pasta, the esteemed food critic, Oretta Zanini de Vita confirms that there were records of pasta in Italy 500 years before Marco Polo returned from China; so pasta was, in fact, invented in Italy.  I’m glad we cleared the air on this bit of trivia [...]