Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City by Katie Parla Review

A love letter from two Americans to their adopted city, showcasing modern dishes influenced by tradition, as well as the rich culture of their surroundings.

Even 150 years after unification, Italy is still a divided nation where individual regions are defined by their local cuisine-- mirrors of their culture, history, and geography. But the cucina romana is the country’s greatest standout. In Tasting Rome, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture Rome's unique character and truly evolved food culture-- a culimation of two thousand years of history.

The recipes here, each selected for the story it tells, acknowledge the foundations of the cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today: cacio e pepe is not only a peppery condiment for pasta, but also a filling for suppli, fried rice balls; pollo alla romana is served as a summer platter of peppers stewed with chicken, but also deboned and on hearty sandwiches. Parla and Gill focus, too, on cucina ebraica to highlight the role Rome's Jewish communities have had, bringing dishes such as hraimi con couscous, which incorporates spicy amberjack, and matzoh fritters, pizzarelle, with honey and pine nuts; celebrate the authentic quinto quarto ("the fifth quarter") offal, and luscious verdure, which grow all over; acknowledge the baked pizzas and breads that anchor everyday eating; and explore the ever-changing culture of sweets and cocktails.

With its forgotten recipes, beloved favorites, and street food innovations, the book transports all the flavors of Rome into your kitchen. Narrative features revealing bits of history and gorgeous photography that highlight both the food and its hidden city will immediately inspire you to start Tasting Rome.
Katie Parla
Katie Parla has written, edited and contributed to more than 20 food and travel books for National Geographic, Time Out, Rough Guides, Dorling Kindersley, Fodor's, and Insight Guides. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times, and is the author of a Saveur nominated food and travel blog ( and the apps "Katie Parla's Rome" and "Katie Parla's Istanbul". Her forthcoming cookbook, "Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors & Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City", co-authored with Kristina Gill, is available for pre-order now and will be published by Clarkson Potter in March 2016.

You can connect with Katie via her blog (, and on social networks: @katieparla on twitter and instagram. Her professional site is

I recevied a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's review- I was a bit overwhelmed by this book because of the different ways everything is condensed and I would never have the ingredients available in my home to create the recipes.  While when broken down in English and taken a lot of time to figure out, this book is a great learning tool and I think anyone who wants to get to know more about or try cooking in a flavor of Rome, will enjoy it.

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