Waverley Root (1903–1982), an American news correspondent, was one of the great food writers of the twentieth century. Though his interests were vast and he wrote on a range of subjects, including sports and war, his main focus was on food.
It is clear that Root’s passion lies in the cuisines he encountered on his travels for work and leisure. His two great tomes, The Food of France (1958) and The Food of Italy (1971), comprehensively address the varying regional differences of the foods and wines of the two countries.
Fellow journalist A.J. Liebling referred to Root in a New Yorker piece, describing his way of writing as one that evokes memories of foods yet to be tasted and places yet to be visited. Indeed, Root’s sprawling prose takes us region by region, giving flesh to the geography, history, and people that have made the cuisine of that area distinct and worthy of discussion.
Storyteller before historian, we might take a grain of salt with Root’s words, but he is to be read for enjoyment and insight rather than for bibliographical reference. Undoubtedly, Root leaves us with a thirst to experience the world through dining as he has.
We are offering here first printings of both The Food of France and The Food of Italy. France is a solid Very Good with a previous owner’s name written on the front free endpaper. The jacket shows its age with a bit of fading and chipping to the extremities. Italy is in Near Fine condition, the dust jacket Very Good plus, save for a thumbnail-sized chip out of the lower spine. We have put both jackets in mylar sleeves for protection.
An absolute must for those of our customers—and we know there are a good many—who enjoy reading their cookbooks just as much as they enjoy cooking from them.