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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely follow-up, 11 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Two Greedy Italians Eat Italy (Hardcover)
I just had to get this. I was so taken in by the "Two Greedy Italians" that I just had to get the sequel. At first I was in two minds, as follow-ups after such a short time from experience mostly lack the brilliance of the original - but this one, in a certain way sneaks up on you.

The emphasis this time lies on the north of Italy. The guys dug out some rare diamonds, especially from the regions of Alto Adige, Lombardy, and Liguria which are underrepresented in most books on the subject: Eisacktaler Weinsuppe, mandilli di sea, pizzocheri (with a twist of putting them under the broiler), and some others. In this volume, Gennaro's recipes are mostly non-traditional stuff and influenced by his host country, while Antonio contributes most of the traditional Italian dishes.

What I love, aside from the stellar photography of both the food and the Italian landscape - and of course, the food itself! :-) - is that Antonio and Gennaro once more reach deep inside to try and explain the cultural identity of the Italian people: La Bella Figura - the habit of getting out the Sunday best in any situation where outward appearance matters. L'arte di arrangiarsi - which is a lifestyle where you make the best of any setting. In a culinary context this means living to savor (as opposed to eating to live), no matter how humble the ingredients at hand.

Here are the few things that turned me off:

The editor was not at the height of his spirits when he frequently allowed misspelling of Italian words. Germany doesn't have a common border with Italy, as the intro to one recipe suggests.

A handful of recipes are re-runs, with minor variations to those in the first "Greedy Italians" volume. To me it also seems a curious thing that Gennaro would rename puttanesca to "pizzaiola." But of course, there's always the chance that they ran behind with the schedule and needed to fill up the pages quickly. In this case it could be but a cunning lesson in l'arte di arrangiarsi. ;-)
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