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4.6 out of 5 stars35
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 May 2008
Many people will have seen Matthew Fort on Great British Menu or read his Guardian columns over the years. His passion for food is totally infectious. And behind his affable demeanour is a sharp mind, wonderful eye for detail and delightfully involving use of language. On this journey around Sicily he also shows an awful lot of himself. It is a very personal journey. It shows not only a sense of the history of the places he visits, it also tells a lot about his own self; his family relationships, his strength of character, his willingness to engage anyone and everyone in his quest. You sense how hard such a journey is; the loneliness of several weeks on a scooter, the uncertainty of what you will find. This is a rare book as it is readable for so many reasons: as a foodie, as a travel journal, as a social document and most of all as a good read. You can be interested in any of these or none to enjoy this.
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on 18 October 2008
I read most of this book beside a pool in Sicily on a sad singleton's holiday and it was nigh on the best company and travel guide for the trip. It would have conjured the warmth, beauty and passion of the island on a cold winter day in Dorset but the poolside was good. If anyone is thinking of travelling to Sicily you must read this gem. So much useful and witty information.
I immediately fell for Matthew, we are of an age, and his descriptions of trials and tribulations on the way touched my heart.This is an honest, funny, laugh out loud joy of a book. The recipes are spot on too and you could and should eat your way around the island. Suddenly you realise how bad our ingredients are and how we have lost our way with food on a day to day basis, this will get you into the kitchen and off those ready meals in a trice. For the heat of Etna in the depths of winter there is little better than this.
I gave my copy to the tour guide so I have to buy it again, this book is like good food, you want to share it.
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on 1 February 2009
Searching for a book that truly depicts Sicily as it actually is today, seemed impossible until this book was published. It is the only one that matched what we discovered whilst travelling there for a month. This and Midnight in Sicily are to be recommended as travelling companions.
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on 6 October 2011
I hadn't realised that Matthew Fort is one of the judges on The Great British Menu. Read this book while on holiday in Sicily. Was very interesting to read while you are actually out there. We like eating local and it was great to be able to identify some of the dishes we ate afterwards, and I will try some of them at home from his recipes provided at the end of each chapter. Also gave pointers on what to see in particular places, as well as desciptions of how things are made eg Modica chocolate. Impressed my fellow travellers with details of how it is made that gives the chocolate its 'grittiness'! Matthew has a good writing style and it is the type of book that you can just pick up and put down and skip chapters if you are travelling to a particular area and read the others later. His reflections on what makes Sicilians Sicilians are very interesting given their patchwork of a heritage, but food seems to be what makes them tick.
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on 15 June 2009
I took this book with me when I went to Sicily on holiday, and it was doubly useful, as a travel book and a recipe book. The travel book part gave an insight into the land and people and helped suggest places to visit. I made several recipes using the local ingredients and they were all a success. Trying them again when I got home transported me back. The reason I only gave 4 stars was that the recipes are not indexed so it can be quite hard to find the one you are looking for. Otherwise, definitely worth buying.
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on 12 October 2014
Matthew Fort explores Sicily on his trusty Vespa, Monica, and engages local people in a gastronomic exploration of their food and culture. There are recipes at the end of every chapter which offer the reader the opportunity to create a bit of Sicily for themselves, based on the evocative descriptions of family celebrations, simple rustic cafe meals, and rural festivals which Fort encounters on his meandering journey across and around the island. The only advice I would give is to leave space between chapters, or you may feel you have over-indulged (as Fort regularly appears to do). Also, vegetarians may feel slightly queasy at the frequent mention of pig fat! Overall, a very satisfying read which should encourage an influx of visitors to this intriguing island.
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on 8 February 2011
If you want to know as much about Italians as you know about Italian food, get this book. Matthew Fort writes simply and beautifully, and offer simple, traditional recipes wrapped up in a crisp coating of travelogue. Unmissable.
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on 1 October 2009
Mathew Fort writes with passion and love about the country,people and the food.He is amusing in his detailed description and has a great warmth of character that shines through every page. I adored both books.
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on 27 August 2011
A wonderful culinary voyage. Beautiful language, tasty recipes and a nostalgic, almost dream-like, description of a journey with a vespa around the island of Sicily. Simply excellent.
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on 9 June 2010
Unsurprisingly this is an excellent effort from Mr Fort which reveals to the reader the astonishing richness and variety of Sicilian cooking.
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