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Books: Figs of March, To the eye and quite quantum, Tea time

Food is culturalit is everywhere in the world and not only in our Italy, where even this very close bond is expressed in a thousand ways that are particularly close to us.

Food is cultural in England, where tea is an integral part of the daily liturgy of an entire people, however multifaceted and multi-ethnic it is capable of starting from a colonial past and arriving in the daily life of one of the nations – necessarily and historically – the most followed and admired, from literature to music, passing through many other cultural aspects. Food is culture when it becomes a material human factor, as in the stories of families that bind all their essence to work inevitably linked to the land and to food production. And it is, once again, even if more simply, in appearance, that it becomes a vehicle of memories and emotions, leaving the purely aesthetic and exaggerated side often put forward in modern times (read under foodporn) and become something timeless, superior to any fashion. Where the grandmother in the kitchen can become the archetype of someone who is redundant, but always efficient.

Books inserted in this small selection, they all walk in this furrow, telling what we eat and what we drink from different points of view: an emotional recipe book, a novel that leads us to touch agricultural and productive realities and an essay which is also a small treatise on food and wine pairing as modern as it is classic, since the late Queen Elizabeth II would have liked it too.

The selection

March figs
Kristine Maria Rapino – Sperling & Kupfer – p. 336 – €17.90

“For the Guerrieri family, pasta was never just a pasta dish. It was an opportunity to get together around the table, a childhood memory, a credo passed down from father to son; the dream of generations of men and women, employed in front of the mixers of this old mill, at the foot of the Majella, which in 1907 became the Pastificio Guerrieri. “In recent years, Italian literary production has flourished around numerous family sagas, genre returns to the fore with important titles like Leoni di Sicilia and many others. Rapino’s book fits perfectly into this particular sector , innovating it with an unglamorous and very concrete story.It transports us to a wonderful and little-known world, one of the kingdoms of Abruzzo, which has based part of its history on pasta since before the last century. he soft and delicate writing of the author allows you to enter not only into the plot of the novel but also into the themes of the work of the Guerrieri family, giving us a visceral and total relationship with the land and its fruits. the lights and shadows that arise from it.Read for those who want to know m the traditions of southern Italy are the best and for those who love novels with a broad and concrete breath, able to surprise “like figs and n March”.

To the eye and just what is needed. My recipe for happiness
Francesca Barra – Rizzoli – 224 pages – €24.90

from the world of instagram the bookstore is now a very busy literary street, thanks also to luck and the interest that creators gather on the web. Visibly and just enough, published by Rizzoli Illustrati, it only partially belongs to this category since its author, Francesca Barra, is already a journalist and author of numerous titles including novels and essays. In this volume he brings his personal and intimate experience to the bookstore and even if the second adjective may seem strange if it is linked to a recipe book. It is not because within the framework of the Bar the actual workings (all traditional and generally very simple, true) are a means of telling life. That of the grandmothers to whom the book is first dedicated and who return several times in the pages accompanied by unforgettable meatballs with the flavor of Calabria, or the tortellini made by grandmother Emma, ​​​​a real Emilian. At a glance and enough, the meaning of the sentence but also the book itself is an ode to the kitchen which more than others is perhaps in the process of disappearing, with the new rhythms of life and the generations who change. An ode written with the skill of those who play with words professionally and also very well. Informal but profound pages, which put an additional brick on the road which increasingly consecrates the close combination of cuisine and popular culture, where the popular is not an impoverished adjective, but a connection of a people. As multifaceted as Italian.

time for tea
Tom Parker Bowles – Guido Tommasi Editore – 244 pp – 28 euros

Tea told by an Englishman. It might not be short story if it were not for the fact that the volume is (as typical of the publishing house which imports the text into Italy) elegantly difficult to reproduce and almost encyclopedic in its entirety, without never be pedantic. And if it were not for the fact that it is signed with an exceptional name. Tom Parker Bowles and the eldest son of Camilla Shand, now Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms, but above all (for food and wine lovers) is one of the most renowned critics and historians of English cuisine, winner in 2010 of the annual award organized by the Guild of Food Writers, an industry association founded in the 1980s. The volume (in bookstores from September 16) begins with historical and critical insights into a very delicate raw material which, through these pages, seems to come alive again, to then get to the main body of the discussion. It is a rich book of traditional recipes that combines cooked dishes (and this is part of the strength of this book: to tell the gastronomic pairing, which is not traditional, in a classic way) with the different varieties of tea. Perfect for those who like to experiment at the table and in the kitchen.


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