An American now living in Rome, and the author of Tasting Rome,
Parla is a journalist and culinary guide who offers here an engaging and informative tour of the five mainland regions south of the Italian capital. Frequent sidebars and informative head notes help Food of the Italian South
rise above many regional cookbooks. Parla highlights local differences, such as how the Feast of San Giuseppe is celebrated in Naples with cream-filled deep-fried pastries, while Calabrians commemorate it with a soup of chickpeas and bitter greens that was served to the begging poor. The origins of what Americans call Italian Wedding Soup are clarified as a mis-translation. And throughout the book one encounters dishes which are certainly not over-represented in other cookbooks: spaghetti with dried fruits, nuts, and olives; bread dumplings in potato-tomato broth; polenta with wild greens. Attractive and fresh. Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.