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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, well researched and authentic Sicilian recipes, 25 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Sicilian Food: Recipes from Italy's Abundant Isle (Paperback)
Mary Taylor-Simeti's book has one major advantage over all the other English language books on Sicilian food I have read - she knows what she is talking about. First published in hardback in 1989 as Pomp And Sustenance: Twenty-five Centuries of Sicilian Food the paperback brings her reference work to a wider readership. It is the 5 star book.

Another review criticised Sicilian Food as being :gossipy". It's not. What Mary Taylor-Simeti combines is her historical and social knowledge which is what makes Siclian food so different from other regions, particularly the influence of Sicily's many invaders.

The usual failing of celebrity chefs writing cookery books about regional food is that they have little knowledge of the area and it's food traditions - the reason that food exists in the first place. Mary Taylor-Simeti does not have that problem. She married a Sicilian and as an American went to live in Sicily in the 70's so she did not parachute in with the intention of writing a cookery book.

Of particular interest is the section on street food. As any visitor Palermo and the Vucciria market will testify, it is the street food and not just cannoli or cassata which distinguish Sicilian food. True, there are things 'missing', but that is my experience and not hers.

A book for educated cook and food traveller. If you read Mourjou by Peter Graham and enjoyed it and like your history, Mary Taylor-Simeti is for you. If you want entertainment and pictures then buy a celeb chef book. Otherwise, read 'Sicilian Food' and buy a flight to Palermo or Catania.
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Location: Rugby, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,663,620