Pomp and Sustenance: Twenty Five Centuries of SicilianFood--back in print If there is one book that belongs on the shelf of food lovers, it is Sicilian Foodby Mary Taylor Simeti. This book is a classic, the definitive work on Siciliancooking and it is full of authentic, hard to find recipes gleaned from the author'sfriends, family and acquaintances on the island itself. Originally published in1989 under the title Pomp and Sustenance: Twenty Five Centuries of SicilianFood and then unavailable for almost ten years, Mary Taylor Simetisaffectionate, exhaustive work has come to be recognized as the definitive bookon the food, traditions and recipes of this sun-drenched island.
The author, an American married to a Sicilian, set out to discover Sicilian foodfirst hand. She haunted former convents and palaces where Palermo's librarieshave been maintained. She tested each ancient recipe herself and updated themethods. Her directions are clear and easy to follow. The book is organized sothat the material reflects both the external influences of a series of conquerors,and the domestic changes brought about by peasant, clergy and aristocratalike. Her chapter titles hint at the enticing discoveries waiting for the readerand the recipes reflect the chapter titles.
There are recipes using the vegetable abundance of the Sicilian landscape, forice cream or granita, and, yes there are recipes for Virgins Breasts andChancellor's Buttocks. The book contains more than a hundred illustrationsfrom Sicilian archives and museums and the text quotes freely from Homer,Plato, Apicius, Lampedusa, and Pirandello. Simeti's prose is so descriptive that to read it is to be in Sicily.
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