From The Little Bookroom
Italy, Bound: Four Guides to the Best of Its Cuisine and Culture
The ITALY, BOUND Book Box has sold out.
The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best
by Louise Fili and Lise Apatoff
Italianissimo (literally, very very Italian) profiles 50 enticing Italian contributions to culture high and low, from the lofty realm of great ideas to the delicious realities of cuisine, fashion, cinema, and more—an eclectic mix of the customs, culture, and concepts that embody the essence of Italy. Italianissimo will enlighten and enrich all journeys to Italy, both real and imaginary, and holds a wealth of sophisticated and humorous information about such icons as hand gestures, patron saints, the piazza, the Fiat 500, ex votos, Neo-realist cinema, the mama’s boy, the mezzaluna, shoes, opera, the Vespa, the Ferrari, gelato, gondolas, the aperitivo, the daily stroll, all illustrated by a gorgeous array of vintage and contemporary photos, ephemera, and graphics.
You’ll also find out: why the concept of waiting in line is nonexistent in Italy; why a string of coral beads is often seen around a baby’s wrist; what the unlucky number of Italy is (it’s not 13, unless seating guests at a table, when it IS 13—taking into account the outcome of the Last Supper); why red lingerie begins to appear in shops as the New Year approaches; why no resident of Naples would dare to walk the streets in the early hours of January 1; and more. Hardcover.
A Culinary Traveller in Tuscany
Exploring and Eating off the Beaten Track
by Beth Elon
“What Beth Elon has given us is not only a detailed and practical cookbook but also a traveler’s guide—and a love letter to a place and way of living. This is great food writing in the spirit of Elizabeth David.“ – Joan Didion
“Beth Elon not only tastes Tuscany, she savors every flavor, turns down every enticing road, and joyously reveals her long, profound, and continuing appreciation of this place of endless pleasures.“ – Frances Mayes
Each of the ten itineraries in this cookbook/guidebook takes readers through parts of Tuscany that still remain largely undiscovered—and into the kitchens of more than 50 restaurants whose cooks reveal their most authentic recipes. Along the way, Elon points out significant architecture, historic sites, churches, art, museums, and points of interest in the breathtaking Tuscan landscape, enriched by Elon’s beautiful writing and deep personal knowledge of the history, legend, and folklore of the region. Each regional section begins with illuminating and entertaining explanations of what makes Tuscan cooking so unique: location, location, location. You’ll read about a bean so beloved by a village that it’s been elevated to cult status—but that is totally unheard of a few kilometers down the road; a village that departs from the Tuscan tradition of unsalted bread with its unique pagniaccio; the endless array of vegetable tarts found nowhere in Tuscany but Lunigiana and Garfagnana.
In addition to 100 recipes, also included are descriptions of restaurants, trattorie, gourmet shops, wineries, olive oil producers, local markets, and regional food festivals, and the monasteries, workshops, and artisans’ studios that offer local items ranging from herbal beauty products to traditional ceramics and hand-woven linens. Paperback.
Italy Dish by Dish
by Monica Sartoni Cesari
translated by Susan Simon
“The chunky new book, with the dimensions of a nice portion of lasagna, is really a guide to Italian food no matter where you eat it. Region by region, plate by plate and glass by glass, it provides definitions and background for thousands of items.“ – Florence Fabricant, The New York Times
This is the essential guide to eating in Italy, listing more than 3,000 menu items, region by region.
In Italy, regional terms for ingredients, preparations and dishes vary widely from village to village and province to province. There are seemingly endless variations—and even if you speak fluent Italian, the names used to describe them can be thoroughly confusing. No longer: Italy Dish by Dish describes the most local of dishes, what ingredients it contains, and how it’s cooked.
This comprehensive translator details the not-to-be-missed dishes that typify each area: unique specialties and preparations that showcase local ingredients and traditions, all listed by the names found on local menus. Each chapter also includes a section listing a region’s cheeses and wines (including which wines to pair with local dishes). A detailed glossary describes the bounty of land and sea that are the basis of la cucina italiana and an extensive index puts menu items at your fingertips.
Lovers of good food and Italian culture will also find Italy Dish by Dish indispensable in the kitchen—detailed descriptions of hundreds of dishes also serve as basic recipes that can easily be followed to create authentic dishes at home. Paperback.
Quiet Corners of Rome
by David Downie
with photographs by Alison Harris
This charming book celebrates more than 50 of the most beautiful, tranquil, and often hidden places in the Eternal City. You’ll find courtyards where mossy fountains splash; cool, quiet cloisters; exquisite gardens scented by boxwood and bay trees; pocket-sized piazzas filled with archaeological details dating to the days of Caesar. Some are secret enclaves that even the most sophisticated Romans haven’t wandered into. The text may recall the history of a locale, a literary reference that brings the setting to life. Even the most intrepid travelers who think of themselves as Rome “insiders” will be surprised when they follow the author and photographer through the Roman labyrinth. Historical anecdotes and quotations from antiquity to the present day are woven throughout the text, bringing Rome alive. Hardcover.