Great Books
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POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts)

by Russell Norman.
Bloomsbury Publishing (2012)

The worst kind of homesickness is the one you feel for the places you’ve never visited. For thousands of years Venezia has earned its reputation as one of the most beautiful and (at some point in history) the most powerful merchant city in the world.

In 1987 UNESCO proclaimed the city of Venice (and its lagoon) as an “extraordinary architectural masterpiece” and listed it as a World Heritage site.

Venice has long been admired for its history, architecture and of course as the Italian jewel it is: for its food.
Like many of you, I greedily get my hands on any food related book that’s within my reach. Although this book doesn’t belong to me I’ve come to “own” it by compulsively delighting in an ever growing list of successfully prepared (and eaten) recipes.

POLPO is not a recipe book. Is a compilation of love letters to fresh, simple and gloriously flavourful food. It doesn’t tell people how to eat, but how to be seduced by food with *really* simple and yet sophisticated dishes.

 I have no doubt that the restaurant itself is magnificent, but I honestly I can’t think of a reason why would I want to pay for a bruschette if I can’t lick the goat’s cheese from my fingers after I’ve crumbled it on the bread.

Every recipe will say (without words) the history of spice trading between the far east and Europe, they celebrate the Columbian exchange by beautifully embracing every ingredient that made its way from the Americas to the Venetian kitchens. You will indeed eat a piece of history in every bite. I could talk about the book’s luscious creamy paper, the elegance of its photographs or the sensual bareness of its binding, but I’d rather say that this book is an eloquent ode to Venice by just one of thousands who’s life was marked by his encounter with this captivating Atlantis.

If you are already feeling inspired, click here to get baking some amazing pizzette.


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Throw a Perfect Pizzette Party | How To Be The Hero Of Your Own Kitchen

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