Puglia: A Culinary Memoir

puglia-a-culinary-memoirSanta Claus flat out forgot me this year.

I knew instantly that the jolly old elf  passed me by when I scrounged around in my Christmas stocking. No lump of coal. But no copy of Maria Pignatelli Ferrante’s Puglia: A Culinary Memoir either.

And this prize of a book  didn’t even make it into the tiny pile of presents on the floor under my Christmas tree.

Maybe that’s because  the book is out of stock in most places. And many online book dealers are not selling it at all! But, Santa, how could you DO this to me??? Me, who owns so many Italian cookbooks I need an entire new bookcase every several months.

At any rate, I’ll be adding Puglia: A Culinary Memoir ASAP after reading the following (and I can locate a vendor):

Puglia: A Culinary Memoir, by Maria Pignatelli Ferrante, first published in Italy as part of a highly regarded culinary series, is now available in English. Puglian author Maria Pignatelli Ferrante skillfully weaves regional history and personal anecdotes together with over 250 classic Puglian recipes that follow an Italian meal from primi piatti to dolci. Signora Ferrante captures the essence of Puglia the long heel of Italy s boot with culinary roots as old as Magna Grecia a land of olive trees and wheat fields, the world-famous bread of Altamura, the miracle of cucina povera, the mystery of Alberobello’s trulli. Puglian recipes will surprise and delight cooks of all persuasions as they savor classic orecchiette, lampascioni, local lamb and pork specialties, pettole and taralli, holiday sweets, and a wonderful array of marmalades and liqueurs. The publication of Puglia launches Oronzo Editions Italy’s Food Culture,* a series of regional Italian cookbooks originally published by Franco Muzzio Editore. With this series, we introduce to the American reader regional and micro-regional cookbooks written by Italian gastronomes for their Italian audience with the clear intention of documenting centuries-old cultures. Each book contains hundreds of recipes culled from diverse sources treasured family notebooks, historical records, elaborate recipe books from the libraries of nobility. These are collections of authentic rescued recipes. [Note: Emphasis added.]

For obsessive Italian cookbook collectors who never bought Nancy Harmon Jenkins’s Flavors of Puglia, this just might be your chance to fill that hole in your collection. For hopelessly infatuated historians of food and cuisine, this series promises a lot of new material to ponder and chew on.

(*The Oronzo Editions Italy’s Food Culture series sounds divine. I can’t wait for the rest. Santa had better be on his toes next year. Or I’m calling the Good Fairy instead!)

UPDATE: Polly Franchini, Oronzo publisher, tells me that Amazon.com will still fulfilling orders and that Sicily is out now, too, more copies arriving in January.

UPDATE 2:  Read an interview with Polly Franchini (publisher of this lovely series of books).

© 2008 C. Bertelsen

2 thoughts on “Puglia: A Culinary Memoir

  1. Thank you, Alex, this sounds great. Actually, I can read Italian, thanks to my experience in living in French- and Spanish-speaking countries. It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy books in other languages. Even though there’s Google Translate (faulty at best), there’s nothing like knowing another language and I encourage everybody to study a language other than their native tongue!

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