on 12 July 2005
Capturing the taste of Rome through a flavourful narrative. A book that could not be put to rest; a read where the words flow with ease through your mind, creating light and delicious images in the corners of your thoughts and filling your mouth with the taste of Italy. You can sit back and relax, enjoy the storyline, laugh your heart out and learn about the Roman way of life. Having a passion for Italy, food and love myself, I found this book a truly satisfying read. A story that will stay fixated in my mind for a very long time.
on 26 June 2005
I picked up this book and read the first couple of pages and I was hooked.
As the pages flew past and chapters ended I was in love with Bruno, in love with Italy and I swear I put on weight just reading!
While the complexity of the relationships unwound, and the decription of the food that was being cooked, no that should feasts being created, I ached to try and taste it all!
Just know that if you enjoy the tastes and sounds of Italy this FANTASTIC book holds them deep in every page.
If like me you have never been there, Rome will be full of expresso and market places, the beaches full of pleasure and
small country villages with hidden wonders.
Devour this book as you would a wonderful meal cooked with love.
It's worth a few pounds on the hips.......
on 22 August 2004
I absolutely loved this book; it would be easy to devour this in a single sitting, but if you can, treat yourself and read about twenty pages a day because the descriptions of Bruno's cooking really should be savoured. Looking forward with anticipation to my evening 'portion' of Capella's wonderful tale was as tempting as anticipating a meal at Italy's best osterias.
If you're a fan of food writing (Nigella, Nigel Slater, Alastair Little), and if you enjoyed Lily Prior's 'Cucina', you are bound to love this book. I don't agree with another reviewer who criticizes the shallow characterisations - the book involves the reader enough to really care about the three leads, and the ending reaches an entertaining climax. In fact I think it could, and should, be made into a film. Anyway, the main role is the food itself, and anyone who reads this book will be rewarded with lingering memories of the taste, smell and vision of the best of Italian food; truffles, porcini, balsamic vinegar, olive oil...
A real treat for lovers of food and romance.
on 5 June 2004
I absolutely LOVED this book! It was creative, interesting, different and funny. If you are a lover of food you will find this book enchanting. If you are a lover of Italian food you will LOVE this book.
I could not put it down and read it in one sitting - which I only interrupted once to cook dinner - Parchment Parcels of Sea Bass roasted with minted aubergine and basil and rosemary infused plum cherry tomatoes with white wine and olive oil - and then back to finish this book!
One word of warning it makes you very hungry for all of the delicious meals described in this book!!!!
Finally i just want to say to the author PLEASE WRITE A COOKBOOK that has these delicious meals in it!
The Marcella Hazan quotes were a masterly stroke and one that I personally loved as she is my FAVORITE Italian Cookbook Writer!
Thank you for such a WONDERFUL AND SPECIAL BOOK.....now about that cookbook.....
on 25 July 2005
Having recently gotten engaged in Venice, this book suceeded in bringing back memories of how beautiful I found a country, whose appreciation for food and the experience of eating is almost sensual. I found myself having to visit a local Italian restaurant to fulfill my craving for veal and fine pasta about half way through the book.
If I hadn't been convinced of having the wedding in Italy and treating my nearest and dearest to a truly romantic wedding feast, I am now.
Whilst the storyline isn't complex and the outcome is pretty predictable, the writing is descriptive and beautiful without becoming too wordy. Definitely not my usual thing, but would recommend highly.
on 13 July 2005
On scanning this book's back cover I thought the combination of cooking and romance sounded fantastic, but must admit I really didn't think the author would be able to pull it off.
However, in only a few pages I was hooked and consumed the whole thing in a couple of days and late nights. Contrary to some other reviews, I felt the characters were just right - likeable and simple, caught up in the history, food and love of Italy, which is what the book is about!
Though I finished this book a few days ago, I can't stop thinking about it, and all I want to do is learn Italian cooking and look for truffles in the woods - ideally with Bruno's friend Bennedetta!!
on 29 January 2014
There is a lovely charm and humour to this book. The personalities are well drawn. You feel the heat, pace and passion of Italy.
If you're a vegetarian (or in any way squeamish) you may not like some of the descriptions of food preparation, as the Italians appear to eat almost any part of a creature's anatomy. I confess I did skip some sections where explanations of butchery were getting a little too explicit for me.
When I first started reading, I thought I'd be giving this five stars...however...not being an Italian speaker, it bothered me that there was such a frequent use of the language, without translations. Usually, an author puts something in the foreign language and then expresses it in English. So there were several places where I didn't know what was meant, and I wasn't prepared to sit with a translation site open on my laptop. I had the kindle version, and there were some words with asterisks against them - I presumed that in the paper version, there would be a footnote and, indeed, on the kindle version, all the footnotes were right at the end of the 'book', each note having a 'page' of its own. I have a kindle 4 and don't know of an easy way to jump from story to the back of the book and return. Maybe more recent editions have a jump-to feature to enable this more easily.
Secondly, we have a waiter (Tommaso) masquerading as a chef to win the love of a woman, with the assistance of his best friend, an inspiring chef (Bruno). Eventually, they open a restaurant, which serves fantastic food. All the top food journalists in the region write sparkling reviews of the restaurant, naming Tommaso as its genius chef. Surely, Tommaso's previous boss, who owns THE top restaurant in the town, would read at least one of these articles, or hear about it, and blow the whistle on the fact that Tommaso is a humble waiter who can't boil an egg. But no. I waited for his cover to be blown but it never was. And that, is the second reason why I couldn't give this a fifth star. I don't mind a bit of fantasy, which this book certainly offers, but it's a bit shabby when an obvious and logical effect of a storyline is completely overlooked.
It has not put me off reading another Anthony Capella, though.
on 4 June 2004
This is a wonderful book, the kind of story you want to feast on in one sitting (sorry about the food puns, but after reading this book it's hard to get the whole food-as-metaphor thing out of your head....) Laura, an art history student in Rome, wants to go out with someone who's good with their hands: beautiful Tommasso tells her he's a chef but actually is just a waiter; his shy best friend Bruno does the real cooking in the background until he too falls for Laura. Where have we heard all that before? Oh yes, it's Cyrano de Bergerac. But actually the transition from sword-wielding poets to knife-wielding chefs works surprisingly well, almost like watching a performance of Shakespeare updated to a modern setting. And there's a dash of A Midsummer Night's Dream too - like a fairy story, things happen that seem a little bit magical but also inevitable, such as when Bruno, rejected by Laura, hooks up with a brilliant chefess (is there such a word?) in the countryside, and discovers that she can find truffles without the help of a dog, simply by the scent they leave on the still night air, or when Laura finds Bruno cooking a pan of soup and compares him to a wizard stirring his cauldron.
The descriptions of Italian cooking - and in particular the long, sensuous descriptions of the ingredients available in Roman markets - are a delight in themselves. Even foodie readers will find themselves learning a lot - I certainly never knew that Italians eat hyacinth bulbs in spring, or that there's a kind of zabaione you can order for breakfast.
The ending kind of surprised me - I thought Bruno was going to end up with the chefess - but there was something quite appealing about his being caught between two girls and having to make a choice between them before he gets to his happy ending. And there were some lovely romantic moments, such as when Bruno secretly sends Laura a bunch of candied edible flowers, and then imagines her tasting the very same thing he's tasting, at the same moment, like a kiss flying between them across the rooftops of Rome.
The Food of Love isn't serious literature - it's well written, charming, and is ultimately as insubstantial and light as one of Bruno's zabaiones, but I guarantee that unless you've got a heart of stone you'll be reading it with a smile on your face.
on 10 June 2004
A wonderfully saucy story, full of passion, both cullinary and carnal!
I have to agree with an earlier reviewer who said it made them hungry, the food and cookery descriptions are mouth watering and I seriously wanted to jump onto a plane about half way through the book. Even having never been to Italy the beautiful descriptions of Rome and the countryside gave me a real yearning to be there (not to mention the two male Italian characters!).
If you want a great read for your holiday this year and you love a bit of love mixed with a bit of food and some fantastic company, this is the book for you.
on 19 October 2007
Sorry to say that I really did not think much of this at all. It was not at all what I expected, which was so much more from the reviews I read on Amazon. I thought the story was drivel and I did not like some of the things that were written about Italy and Italians! Although saying that I have to admit that the food writing and descriptions of the Italian countryside are excellent. The emails though just confirmed my opinion that Capella would have been much better off writing a cookery book.