Eating My Way Through Italy:
Heading Off the Main Roads to Discover the Hidden Treasures of the Italian Table
by Elizabeth Minchilli
Inspired by the Stanley Tucci series, Searching for Italy, my sister has planned a five-week tour of Italian foods as a retirement trip for her husband. My husband and I will be accompanying them for the first two parts of their tour, with stops in the Piedmont region and the Puglia region.
To prepare for our own trip in which we eat our way through Italy, I'm planning to read several Italian-foodie books, including Eating My Way Through Italy.
Food expert Elizabeth Minchilli shares her favorite Italian foods and her favorite places in Italy to find the her favorite foods in the book Eating My Way Through Italy.
My takeaways from this book?
(1) Stuffed pasta. Minchilli differentiates between tortellini; tortelloni (bigger than tortellini; not stuffed with meat); cappelletti (filled with just cheese); Tortelli di Erbette (square shaped; served with butter); anolini (round and stuffed with pot roast); and ravioli (general name given to any square shaped stuffed pasta).
(2) Parmigiano Reggiano. Rules: Not pasturized; cheese made in copper kettles; milk must come from a specific geographical area in Italy; no additives.
(4) Truffles. Say no to truffle oil, Minchilli advises. Truffle sauces, on the other hand, are common and delicious. Sadly, one can't return home with truffles unless they are in jars or cans. Consider eating Pecorino al Tartufo, a type of cheese with truffles.
(5) Olive oil. Olive oil must be stored in dark glass bottles. Olive oil is a condiment, to add to a dish at the table, though it's not used for dipping bread in Italy.
(6) Bari. Common rhyme about Bari: "Se Parigi avesse il mare, sarebbe una piccola Bari." Translation is "If Paris was on the sea, it would be a little Bari." As an avid Francophile, I am eagerly anticipating my visit to Bari.
(7) Passeggiata. Once the heat of the day begins to subside, people head out to stroll along the main street. Passeggiata is a term that describes the end-of-the-day stroll that happens each day in Italy. This is how I'd love to end my day.