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The Vinegar of Spilamberto: And Other Italian Adventures with Food, Places, and Peopleby Doris Muscatine
Synopses & Reviews
In 1958, Doris Muscatine's husband, a medieval scholar, got a Fulbright for a year of research in Italy. They lived in Rome and almost immediately became hopeless Italophiles. The Vinegar of Spilamberto is the enchanting story of their experiences. The couple returned often, staying in various apartments — a house in Venice, a medieval tower in Tuscany, and a villa on the Appia Antica with its own catacombs.
From such small places as Populonia and Rovescala to bigger ones like Riace and Dozza, the family immersed themselves in the Italy off the typical tourist tracks. Muscatine describes the extreme cultural differences everywhere, but most notable in Sicily, and delights in various foods — including Il Ranocchio, dall'antipasto al dolce (The Frog, from antipasto to dessert) — and the wines that went with them. Chapters are devoted to the Italian appreciation of slow food and of special products such as truffles and balsamic vinegar.
In 1958, Doris Muscatine's husband was awarded a Fulbright that required them to live a year in Rome, and so began a love affair with Italy that would continue for the rest of their lives.
This is a memoir of a happy life, one spent devoted to family, friends, food, and a growing sense of international understanding filled with hope and respect. With the skill of a landscape painter and the ear of a poet, Doris Muscatine writes of the pleasures of the flesh and of the soul. She takes us along on her search for truffles and balsamic vinegar, her visits to Sicily and Venice, her stay with the nuns of Populonia, and her accidental meeting with members of the Slow Food movement. Her adventures are filled with the serendipity of someone in love with the world and willing to allow life to unfold at its own pace.
The author and her husband first lived in Italy in 1958, and here is the enchanting story of their experiences and return visits. She describes the extreme cultural differences everywhere, but most notable in Sicily, and delights in various foods.
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