Fresh Flavors + Forgotten Recipes From an Ancient City
By Katie Parla and Kristina Gill
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.
My thoughts: I love Italian food so I was very excited to get to review Tasting Rome. It starts with talking about new and old roman and explaining the uses for a few main ingredients. Throughout the cookbook the instructions are easy to follow and most of the ingredients for the recipes are easy to find. All of the dishes look so good too. I love the extra info about where it came from and suggestions for traditional cooking. If you like Around the Fire or Sweeter off The Vin you’ll love Tasting Rome.