Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Eating Rome by Elizabeth Helman Minchilli


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Elizabeth Minchilli has been eating her way through Rome since she was 12 years old. Eating Rome, based on her popular blog Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome, is her homage to the city that feeds her, literally and figuratively. Her story is a personal, quirky and deliciously entertaining look at some of the city’s monuments to food culture. Join her as she takes you on a stroll through her favorite open air markets; stop by the best gelato shops; order plates full of carbonara and  finish the day with a brilliant red Negroni. Coffee, pizza, artichokes and grappa are starting points for mouth-watering stories about this ancient city. Illustrated with Minchilli’s beautiful full-color photos and enriched with her favorite recipes for Roman classics like vignarola, carciofi alla romana and carbonara, Eating Rome is the book that you want if you are planning your first trip to Rome or if you have been to Rome a dozen times. And even if you just want to spend a few hours armchair traveling, Elizabeth Minchilli is the person you want by your side.
MY TAKE:
I love watching food and travel shows on TLC, and this book read a little bit like a cross between a blog and a TLC show.

In Eating Rome, the author shares stories from her life in Rome and her tips for eating like a Roman and where the best places to go are. There are also recipes you can do at home, even if you're miles away from Italy.

I know I say this a lot, but I learned a ton of new things from this book. The recipes all looked good, but what I found fascinating and the best parts of the book, were the cultural lessons like food isn't really eaten on the go unless it's gelato or pizza bianca. For a lot of the chapters, there were short lists that told you the rules you needed to know when it came to eating things like, say, pasta. There's also a list of restaurants for each chapter and what each restaurant does best.

I had no idea how complicated going to the market was in Rome. I mean, we have something similar here in my country (regulars are called "suki"), but I don't think it's as strict as the system in Rome. It's pretty cool, though, and I would love to see it for myself someday. There were other interesting anecdotes too, like how you should always ask about the vegetables and the side dishes when going to restaurants because they are not listed in the menu.

Aside from the invaluable information, I also enjoyed the author's stories. It gave the book a personal touch and kept me interested in the chapters. It was easy to imagine her life in Rome, and although I think my eating and cooking habits make me a terrible fit for Rome in the long run, for short visits, I would definitely enjoy staying there.

If you're planning on going to Rome in the future, you should definitely get this. It's a really good starting point and guide, especially if you want to get an authentic experience.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Griffin for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. You will learn a lot.
  2. The recipes all look delicious.
  3. It will help you make the most out of your experience in Rome.  

THE BAD:

  1. I would have loved it if there were more pictures. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You are thinking of traveling to Rome.
  2. You love Italian food.
  3. You like food and travel shows. 

RATING:
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