WE CALLED IT MACARONI: An American Heritage of Southern Italian Cooking by Nancy Verde Barr

WE CALLED IT MACARONI: An American Heritage of Southern Italian Cooking

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A few decades and countless cookbooks after Americans caught on that Italian cooking is more than spaghetti and meatballs, we're being called back home by a round of Italian-Americans celebrating what Sicilian cookbook author Mimmetta LoMonte has scornfully called ""immigrant cuisine."" To Bart, who grew up among Rhode Island's Southern Italians, it's la cucina povera, the food many Italian Americans regrettably abandoned with prosperity. So she includes here lots of flavorful bean and bread soups, lots of vegetables, much tuna (both fresh and canned), many items breaded and fried, special holiday sweets and feast foods now less special because you can have them anytime, and of course all kinds of pastas (only then they were all macaroni). To this satisfying core she adds a few dishes she learned in Italy and a few now-common ingredients that were unavailable to the unfortunate new immigrants. Unlike some nostalgia mongers, she treats the cuisine with respect and discrimination (much of our so-called Italian food was coarse and awful) while also punctuating the recipes with her own and her Italian-American acquaintances' wonderful memories.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1990
Publisher: Knopf