Knockout Narratives Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | January 5, 2015

    Frances E. Jensen: IMG What You Don't Know about the Teenage Brain

    Things were changing in our household: the teen years had intruded into our otherwise harmonious, do-as-mom-tells-you relatively orderly world. As... Continue »

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $22.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Cooking and Food- Gastronomic Literature

More copies of this ISBN

Never Trust a Thin Cook and Other Lessons from Italy's Culinary Capital


Never Trust a Thin Cook and Other Lessons from Italy's Culinary Capital Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

I simply want to live in the place with the best food in the world. This dream led Eric Dregni to Italy, first to Milan and eventually to a small, fog-covered town to the north: Modena, the birthplace of balsamic vinegar, Ferrari, and Luciano Pavarotti. Never Trust a Thin Cook is a classic American abroad tale, brimming with adventures both expected and unexpected, awkward social moments, and most important, very good food.

Parmesan thieves. Tortellini based on the shape of Venus's navel. Infiltrating the secret world of the balsamic vinegar elite. Life in Modena is a long way from the Leaning Tower of Pizza (the south Minneapolis pizzeria where Eric and his girlfriend and fellow traveler Katy first met), and while some Italians are impressed that "Minnesota" sounds like "minestrone," they are soon learning what it means to live in a country where the word "safe" doesn't actually exist-only "less dangerous." Thankfully, another meal is always waiting, and Dregni revels in uncorking the secrets of Italian cuisine, such as how to guzzle espresso "corrected" with grappa and learning that mold really does make a good salami great.

What begins as a gastronomical quest soon becomes a revealing, authentic portrait of how Italians live and a hilarious demonstration of how American and Italian cultures differ. In Never Trust a Thin Cook, Eric Dregni dishes up the sometimes wild experiences of living abroad alongside the simple pleasures of Italian culture in perfect, complementary proportions.

Book News Annotation:

The quest for the world's best food led Dregni (English, Concordia U., St. Paul, MN; Italian Concordia Language Village, Lago del Bosco) and his girlfriend to Pavarotti's hometown of Modena in northern Italy. He describes their (mis) adventures with Italian cuisine, culture, and trying to teach English while constantly--it seems--eating. The engaging book includes a map and glossary of Italian terms. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Eric Dregni is assistant professor of English at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and dean of the Italian Concordia Language Village, Lago del Bosco. He is the author of several books, including In Cod We Trust: Living the Norwegian Dream, Minnesota Marvels: Roadside Attractions in the Land of Lakes, and Midwest Marvels: Roadside Attractions across Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin, all published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Table of Contents


Vicolo Forni

Permesso di Soggiorno

A Page Boy in Pavarotti's Restaurant

Sleeping with Nuns

Il Cappuccino

Lord Arnold and the Knight

Terror and Courtesy at the Esselunga Supermercato

Foiling the Cheese Thieves

Mold Makes a Good Salami Great

"The Poor Meatball!"

Rats in the Canals, Peacocks in the Piazza

The Bicycle Thief

Treachery and Treason amid the Subcommittee of Vespa Paint

Norman the Conqueror

Eat Your Hat, Cowboy

A Night at the Opera

Four, Five, Sex . . .

Lessons from Guido


A Risky Subject

Casino or Casinò?

Commie Pigs?

Never Trust a Thin Cook

Angry Noodles

Walking over Death

Super Pig Trotter

Reggio's Blockheads and Bologna's Baloney

The Secret World of the Balsamic Vinegar Elite

Pet Pigs

Buon Natale!

Sunny Italy

The Hot Springs of Ischia

Naples at New Year's

San Geminiano and the Festival of Fog

Soccer Season

Truffles and Cotecchino

Porn and Puritans

La Tivù

Politics, Italian Style

The Art of Eating

Eating Venus's Navel

Back to High School

La Ferrari

Touch Your Balls for Luck!

Why Would You Ever Leave?

Parli Italiano?


Product Details

Dregni, Eric
University of Minnesota Press
Dregni, Eric Dregni
Essays & Travelogues
Personal Memoirs
Travel Writing-General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
8.5 x 5.38 x 1 in

Other books you might like

  1. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)
    Used Hardcover $7.50
  2. California Studies in Food and... Used Trade Paper $9.95
  3. When the Bough Breaks: Forever After... Used Trade Paper $11.00
  4. Once Upon a Day Used Trade Paper $1.50

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Business » Management
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
Cooking and Food » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Never Trust a Thin Cook and Other Lessons from Italy's Culinary Capital Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages University of Minnesota Press - English 9780816667451 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at