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Memoir, etiquette, guidebook, and, yes, cookbook

A fun and informative read, especially for those of us who have not yet visited ROME or experienced living in Italy. A definite read-ahead before you travel, especially if love food and prefer a local rather than tourist experience.

Book Review: EATING ROME, Living the Good Life in the Eternal City

Author: Elizabeth Minchille

Elizabeth Minchille’s view of the city and her friendly delivery lifted me out of my easy-chair as I imagined exploring Rome by her side, struggling to catch-up as she quickly moves through her favorite city chatting away about her memories, stopping for a morning espresso and pastry, then on to the fresh vegetable market, and back to her kitchen to make Minestrone (recipe on p. 20). “Of course you can play around with the ingredients. And feel free to throw in an old piece of Parmesan rind, which will add extra flavor.” Who knew? But wait, what is Parmesan rind exactly - Do we have it in the States? Of course. Look for the "good cheese," not that stuff in the container.

Back to our lessons… did I say lessons? Well, actually, yes! Elizabeth Minchilli is an American who lived in Rome for two years as a pre-teen, moved back as a graduate student, and now lives there full-time with her Italian husband and two daughters and shares her passion for architecture, family, food and life in Rome so she has lots to teach. She leads us through Rome’s streets (I imagine arm-in-arm with Elizabeth admonishing me for displaying my American ways and embarrassing her just a little).

It’s like having a BFF or big sister whispering in your ear how to act in public. “Today’s Roman food lesson involves eating in the street. Don’t do it.” (p.23) “But as with everything Italian, every rule has its huge gaping exceptions (which is why you need this book to help navigate the sometimes treacherous food landscape). So, to repeat, never ever eat in the street. Unless, of course, it is ….” (p.25) Can you guess? No? Not sure? I know the answer because I have this way cool new best-friend-in-a-book who shares her personal stories, recipes, and favorite places to eat in Rome.

Friends Heart Hands

Speaking of recipes, think I’ll start out by making the Artichoke Lasagne (p. 62). I like both ingredients but can’t quite imagine them together. And, when I’m feeling really brave, I plan on mastering Gabriele Bonci’s pizza (p. 214) because, well, knowing how to make authentic pizza dough will be a feather in my cooking repertoire cap. Wish me luck in manipolazione — the handling of the dough.

pizza dough

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