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Eating Up Italy: Voyages on a Vespa Paperback – 20 Jun 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (20 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007214812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007214815
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'Elizabeth David meets Jack Kerouac – around the table and on the road, this is a brilliant insight into Italian gastro-culture.'
Giorgio Locatelli

‘Lemon blossom and freshly baked bread waft up from every page. The most intensely greedy, fragrant and sensuously written travelogue I have ever read. A glorious, glorious feast.’
Nigel Slater

'A beautifully written, humorous account of a talented food writer controlling what seems to be a midlife crisis by travelling around Italy on a Vespa.' Jamie Oliver

About the Author

Matthew Fort has nursed a passion for the whole of Italy and its foods since his first visit at the age of eleven. Whilst pursuing a career in advertising he started writing about food in the Financial Times and eventually became Food & Drink editor of the Guardian in 1989. As well as continuing to hold that post, he writes for Esquire, the Observer, Country Living, Decanter and Food Illustrated.


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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Oct. 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Matthew Fort's epic scooter ride up the thigh-boot of Italy is a truly delicious read. Every aspect of the fascinating and varied Italian life he encountered is amusingly reflected upon in his lightly erudite prose. I thought his acknowledgement of feeling homesick (unlike Thesiger et al) was particularly endearing and the description of his amateurish Vespa riding in Naples most entertaining.Mr Fort was the restaurant critic for The Guardian, a foodie professional, but the gusto with which he describes the various meals he was presented with en route shows a boyish enthusiast peeping through the culinary afficionado. The recipes, which are added to each chapter-ending, are splendidly simple but totally mouthwatering.What Mr Fort has managed to do is deftly mix an amusing travel diary, rich with incident & character, with a gourmet's guide to the regional idiosyncrasies of Italian cooking. YUMMY!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. A. Williams on 3 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Matthew Fort has assembled a kind of culinary Ark of Italian country cuisine in this book; it is an important book because, like Elizabeth David, he detects the tendrils of homogenisation creeping into Italin food and society, and that they will, leach away these simple guiding principles of Italian cookery.
Thios is definitely not a book of recipes - there are plenty of recipes but it is a book about the philosophy of Italian peasant cooking. It is utterly delightful but, for you to make his efforts wothwhile, make a few of the recipes and reaffirm his words
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Are you, like me, tired of all these remorselessly microscopic, one-theme books? You know, three times as much as you ever wanted to know about socks, and their previously unregarded, unrevealed and crucial impact on world civilisation and culture, that sort of thing? Do you ever pine for a bit of grand discursion, an anecdote here, a fascinating fact there; for an amiable companion rather than some zealot of minutiae or lazy hack padding out the best they came up with at lunch with their publisher? I must say I didn't hold out much hope about Eating Up Italy: Voyages on a Vespa. Another foodie boring on about fancy sausages, I thought. And on a Vespa: a miserly, fit sort of foodie to boot, I thought. And he writes for The Guardian. What a splendid surprise, then, to come across Matthew Fort, fat and flabby and over-50 by his own account, and a mesmerisingly entertaining man to travel with the length of Italy. A man, true, obsessed by food far too much than is good for him or his poor Vespa; but a man, too, who can convey that passion, make the sex life of the snail a thing of fascination, and, yes, even make fancy sausages interesting: read his encounter with the five sausage butchers of Salmona if you don't believe me. Add to this some memorable facts - did you know that Goethe was a foodie, or what excess carried off Cavour? - and accounts, particularly of scootering in Naples, accomplished with wit and not a little confided wisdom. Fort even tells us why the Italians talk so much, a condition he clearly shares and relishes. There are well laid-out recipes for the stuff he so lovingly describes, although I felt "sauce of castrated lamb" also lost something in the translation. Va voom bene!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DillyD on 22 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to take on my short walking holiday in Italy. We were based on the Amalfi Coast which Matthew didn't visit during his travels, but we flew in to Naples and were collected by a taxi before a nerve jangling journey to our first hotel. So, reading Matthew's description of driving his moped around Naples was both resonent and hilarious, I tip my hat to anyone who can drive those streets!
Reading the excellent descriptions of ingredients, meals and landscapes, while eating Italian meals or after walking through similar landscapes, was wonderful. The book really did add something to my holiday. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Italy or food even if you're not visiting the country, because it captures the essence so well that you can imagine yourself there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Renaissance Girl TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Matthew Fort has a very entertaining writing style, and manages to convey the colour, fragrance and sights of Italy in this gastronomic tour. There's a short but comprehensive index, so you can flick to places you love, or want to visit, or to seek out a specific ingredient. There are little historical tidbits, recipes he's picked up along the way, and information on regional variances. There are lovely anecdotes of people he's met, or suppliers he's found - even of the locals he watches go about their business. If you love Italy, and Italian good, it's a great book to lock yourself away with on a rainy British day...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started reading this in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep and it kept me reading for at least the next two hours. I was meant to be reading something a lot more heavy going, but succumbed to the easy style of Mr Fort and thoroughly enjoyed the whole book. I am now going to buy his Sicilian one and no doubt will be reading that into the early hours! Granted I am a foodie, but I think anyone would enjoy his self deprecating manner and unsentimental insights into the country. What a relief to read of built up agglomerations and tatty seaside developments instead of the usual tourist gush.
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