September 7, 2007

Weekend Reading: Adventures of an Italian Food Lover by Faith Heller Willinger

Admit it. Summer's over. Time to head back to school, back to work, back to everyday life. But that doesn't mean you can't dream about being somewhere else.

Personally, I'm headed to Italy, with a copy of a beautiful cookbook and set of stories from Faith Heller Willinger called Adventures of an Italian Food Lover.

Willinger, a contributor to Epicurious who lives in Florence, has compiled stories and recipes from friends across Italy into a sophisticated and highly readable book that pays tribute to warm, talented people, fresh local ingredients and the meals you can enjoy when you bring them together. With listing information for restaurants and buying information for products as well as recipes, it comes off as part cookbook, part guidebook, and part love letter to a country that Willinger has gotten to know through its cuisine.

Adventures of an Italian Food Lover is segmented by region into three sections, featuring recipes from Northern and Central Italy, Tuscany, and Southern Italy and the Islands. Recipes serve as accompaniment to rich stories of the people and places from which they come. The book is illustrated with watercolor paintings that illustrate these people and places, so you really feel like you're reading someone's travel journal, and getting an intimate look at the culinary experiences that made each visit memorable.

The recipes feature local ingredients from the places Willinger visits. Luckily, most of them are the same ingredients you'll find a your local farmer's market or grocery store's local produce section. I was particularly excited to find ingredients that are cropping up right now in my CSA vegetable pick-up -- tomatoes, apples, squash, potatoes. And from the looks of it, I'll be able to find recipes for every season. I'll keep you posted on my favorites.

Available at Adventures of an Italian Food Lover.

Read More in: Food | Product review | Really Natural Books | Recipe | Weekend Reading

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Posted by Jess Brooks at September 7, 2007 9:47 AM

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