The Food of Italy

Publisher: Vintage
In this thoroughly comprehensive, utterly captivating culinary guidebook, acclaimed food writer Waverley Root traverses Italy from Lombardy to Sicily, and across 3,000 years of invasions. An exhaustive catalog of the country’s gastronomic legacy, The Food of Italy explains the regional delicacies, the traditions, and the history that define the way Italians eat.

From the legally enforced frugality of the Renaissance table to the enduring Saracen luxury of Sicilian desserts, from the lasagna of Bologna to the saltimbocca of Rome, Root explores the secrets and customs of a cuisine so nuanced that even the basic ragu Bolognese has some two hundred variations.

A culinary adventurer who made his mark decades before Anthony Bourdain appeared on the scene, Root shares the stories of an elephant forced to spend the winter of 1551 in the South Tyrol and the dishes named after him, the proper way to bottle Chianti, and the mysteries surrounding the origin of tortellini. Essential reading for travelers—of the armchair and ticketed variety, alike—The Food of Italy, which features decorative maps (that may not be legible for all readers) and illustrations, brings the subtleties of the Italian palate into any home.