The Pull of Italy: An Explanation of, or at Least a Discourse on, an Obsession

Just what is it about Italy? The sheer, sheer beauty? Or … The turbulent history The grottoed mushroom-rank earth The Latin-infused language The ancientness The glimmering light The icy green water of northern lakes The needle-like cypress trees The deep phosphorescent colors of art The blue of the sea The dark wood floors and terra … More The Pull of Italy: An Explanation of, or at Least a Discourse on, an Obsession

Pandolce: From Liguria with Love, Thanks to Laura Schenone

Laura Schenone, author of the soulful The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken and the scholarly (and prize-winning) A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove, traveled back to Liguria for Christmas in 2007. From that trip came her perpetual Christmas gift to all of us, Pandolce. In an article in the December 2008 issue of SAVEUR … More Pandolce: From Liguria with Love, Thanks to Laura Schenone

No Thanks to Marco Polo: An Encyclopedia of Italy’s Pasta Shapes

Marco Polo returned to Italy from his Chinese travels in 1296. The myth, legend, what have you, credits him with introducing pasta into Italy’s culinary repertoire. But Marco Polo did NOT bring pasta to Italy. And 73-year-old Italian author Oretta Zanini de Vita wants you to know that, immediately, upfront and center. Zanini de Vita … More No Thanks to Marco Polo: An Encyclopedia of Italy’s Pasta Shapes

Elizabeth Romer’s Chronicle of Tuscan Agriculture

Contemplating the impact of Food Network’s publishing juggernaut on the current food scene in America, I find myself turning backwards, to some of the “earlier” writers on food in Italy. Many of these people, like Elizabeth Romer in The Tuscan Year: Life and Food in an Italian Valley (1985), wrote of day-to-day practices, of times … More Elizabeth Romer’s Chronicle of Tuscan Agriculture

The Hermetic Lady in the Palazzo: Marlena de Blasi

Cookbook author and memoirist Marlena de Blasi does not seek the limelight, preferring instead to write her books in the shadows. The shadows, that is, of the great stone monuments of Italy, first San Marco in Venice and now a sixteenth-century palazzo in Orvieto in Umbria. De Blasi’s body of work includes A Taste of … More The Hermetic Lady in the Palazzo: Marlena de Blasi