Italy in Small Bites
William Morrow, June, 2004.
Hardcover, 293 pages.
Everyone is familiar with tapas, the little Spanish appetizers that can serve as a meal or as a snack. But not as many people are familiar with Italy's version of between-meals meals known as merende. Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker and Celebrating Italy, has made it her mission to correct this oversight -- with delightful results. She begins the book with a fascinating history lesson, which is highlighted by food. She traces the history of the way Italians eat, dropping interesting facts with the same aplomb that she uses to whip up some Bruschetta or a Foccaccia Condita (Durum Pizza and Durum Bread). Armed with Ms. Field's clear instructions, your ingredients, a food processor and your oven/range, you will find yourself turning out such delicacies as Pomodori Secchi Imbottiti (Sundried Tomato Sandwiches), Scarpaccia Viaregginia (Savory Zucchini Tart), Casareccio (Rustic Whole Wheat Bread), Sgabei (Cheese-filled Fried Dough Wands), Barbagliata (Espresso and Cocoa), and Maritozzi delle Marche (Lemony Sweet Buns).
This is definitely a non-Atkins Diet type of cookbook. There are glorious and healthful carbs (vegetables, fruits, and whole grains) galore. But you did hear that vegetarians live, on average, ten years longer than meat eaters, didn't you? So, ditch the fear of carbs and dive into this absolutely delightful book which is full of healthy Mediterranean fare that will please family, friends, and -- most importantly -- yourself.
Italy in Small Bites is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the July-August, 2004 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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