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Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780231122320
Author(s): Alberto Capatti
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2003
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Dimensions: 161 x 235 x 26 (w x l x h)
Pages: 400
Series: Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History (Hardcover)

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Italy is a country of a hundred cuisines and thousands of recipes. Its great variety of culinary practices reflects a history long dominated by regionalism and political division, and this diversity has led to the common conception of Italian food as a mosaic of regional customs rather than a single tradition. Nonetheless, this book demonstrates the development of a distinctive, unified culinary tradition throughout the Italian peninsula. Alberto Capatti and Massimo Montanari uncover a network of culinary customs, food lore and cooking practices, dating back as far as the Middle Ages, that are identifiably Italian, such as: the Italians used forks 300 years before other Europeans, possibly because they needed to handle pasta, which is slippery and dangerously hot; the Italians invented the practice of chilling drinks and may have invented ice cream; and it was Italian culinary practice that influenced the rest of Europe to place more emphasis on vegetables and less on meat. The authors focus on culinary developments in the late-medieval, Renaissance, and baroque eras, aided by a wealth of cookbooks produced throughout the early modern period.
They show how Italy's culinary identities emerged over the course of the centuries through an exchange of information and techniques among geographical regions and social classes. Though temporally
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