La Merenda Italiana: Con i Migliori Salumi d'Italia
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"La Merenda Italiana" is, roughly speaking, the Italian snack, although in Italy, and certainly in this book, the strong implication is that there will be piece of high-quality bread topped with one of more than 700 different cured meats.
La Merenda Italiana is also this book, an ambling, discursive, often charming, sometimes grand but rarely linear tribute to a tradition. "It will help you be at peace with the world thanks to what it promises and evokes: a world made of tiny, well-deserved daily pleasures; beneficial and necessary, especially in the world of today where everything is available and therefore taken for granted."
Any practical benefit from this book will come from understanding the Italian approach and philosophy, rather than looking for recipes or formulas. This is a work in which a bread is described as "energetic, airy, and hospitable... but it was also young and rebellious in the past if we consider the historical and socioeconomic context in which it was created."
There are efforts to characterize regional preferences, as well as brief tasting notes on some two dozen of the most remarkable cured meats. Mortadella favola gran riserva is called "a delicately crafted soft sculpture" and that description captures this book's approach to appreciating everything having to do with la merenda.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout. In Italian and English.