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Delizia!: The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food by John Dickie

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Delizia!: The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food by John Dickie

8vo. pp. x, 367. map & b/w illustrations. bibliography. index. hardcover. dw. (fine condition). New York: Free Press, [2008].

ISBN 10: 0743277996ISBN 13: 9780743277990


Perfect for fans of La Cucina and Stanley Tucci’s Taste, a vivid and passionate celebration of Italian food that explores its rich history and how it became the world’s favorite cuisine.

In this “revelatory history of gourmet Italy from antiquity to today” (
Publishers Weekly), the fascinating story of how one vast country comprised of uniquely distinct regions came to produce some of the most delicious and beloved foods of all time is expertly revealed.

If you want to understand Italian food, it’s important to recognize one central insight: Italian food is city food. It’s not coincidental that so many Italian foods and dishes are named after cities:
bistecca alla fiorentina, prosciutto di Parma, pizza napoletana. Italy has the world’s longest unbroken tradition of urban living, and food has played an integral role in that tradition.

Delizia! explores this dynamic history by focusing on one great food per city per era, beginning, of course, with the introduction of pasta by Muslims to Sicily in the Middle Ages. Each chapter relates a key moment in a single city’s gastronomic past and, together, these slices of life build into a single narrative that spans the centuries and evokes the look, the atmosphere, and the taste of past and present. Celebratory and compelling, Delizia! proves that “if we are what we eat, who wouldn’t want to be Italian”