A cultural and culinary celebration of everything that makes Italian cuisine great, from Rome’s resident gastronomic expert
After a lifetime of living and eating in Rome, Elizabeth Minchilli is an expert on the city's cuisine. While she’s proud to share everything she knows about Rome, she now wants to show her devoted readers that the rest of Italy is a culinary treasure trove just waiting to be explored. Far from being a monolithic gastronomic culture, each region of Italy offers its own specialties. While fava beans mean one thing in Rome, they mean an entirely different thing in Puglia. Risotto in a Roman trattoria? Don’t even consider it. Visit Venice and not eat cichetti? Unthinkable. Eating My Way Through Italy, celebrates the differences in the world’s favorite cuisine.
Divided geographically, Eating My Way Through Italy looks at all the different aspects of Italian food culture. Whether it’s pizza in Naples, deep fried calamari in Venice, anchovies in Amalfi, an elegant dinner in Milan, gathering and cooking capers on Pantelleria, or hunting for truffles in Umbria each chapter includes, not just anecdotes, personal stories and practical advice, but also recipes that explore the cultural and historical references that make these subjects timeless.
For anyone who follows Elizabeth on her blog Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome, read her previous book Eating Rome, or used her brilliant phone app Eat Italy to dine well, Eating My Way Through Italy, is a must.
Minchilli (Eating Rome) has lived in Italy for 40 years, since her parents moved the family to Rome from St. Louis when she was 12. Encyclopedic knowledge earned over decades informs this hybrid guide, cookbook with 34 recipes, and deep dive into essential ingredients such as Parmigiano Reggiano. To escape the crowds, Minchilli encourages visitors to Florence to head outside the city gates by bus or on foot and suggests that tourists may want to exit the "almost Disneyland-like area" around Venice's Saint Mark's Square and hightail it to the less busy islands nearby. The industrious author ferrets out unpretentious eateries like the fornelli of Bari butcher shops that grill customers' meat and may have a few tables. She goes anchovy fishing on the Amalfi coast and hunts down one of the few people remaining on Sardinia who makes thin-stretched filindeu pasta. Accessible recipes range from octopus cooked in the liquid it exudes to a tart filled with ricotta, cherry jam, and balsamic vinegar. Minchilli's writing is crisply informational and often funny. Squeamish about seeing fish served with their heads? "Get over it," she commands. Minchilli's sure grip on Italian culture makes her an excellent culinary guide.