Cooking Books -> Snacks
Italy in Small Bites
Published: October 1993
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From Library Journal
Field is the well-known author of several books on Italy and its cuisine, including Celebrating Italy ( LJ 11/15/90) and the widely praised The Italian Baker ( LJ 11/15/85). Now she turns to merende , traditional Italian snack
food, a category that includes both the American favorite, pizza, and a wide range of more unusual regional "little dishes." Many merende are based on bread or bread dough, Field's own specialty, and she has collected lots of mouth-watering recipes for
bruschetta, crostini, and focaccia in all its incarnations, as well as various sweet and savory breads. There are also salads, bocconcini ("little bites," or finger food), and more. Recipes are simple, rustic, and uncomplicated, although some do involve
a certain amount of preparation. Considering our current obsession with Italian food and the popularity of snack food, this is sure to be in demand.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Tapas in Spanish and mezes in
Greek. Now Field explores merende, midmorning or afternoon snacks enjoyed in the boot-shaped country. There's a scholarly yet friendly tone; we learn about Virgil, Cato, and Cicero wolfing down appetizers while Field explains how she convinced a certain
baker to part with the recipe for lemony sweet buns. Many of the more than 150 foodstuffs will have familiar names to those who frequent Italian restaurants in the U.S.: pesto and black olive paste, bruschetta,... read more
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner may mark the beginning, middle, and end of the Jay, but for centuries Italians have eaten two small, informal meals that come in between. Italy in Small Bites is the first-ever collection Of recipes for
these bite-size treats, known as spuntini and merende, the soul food of Italy.
Spuntini, the midmorning snack, can be as simple as a sublime walnut-and-ralsin-studded coffee cake, while merende, which are enjoyed mid-afternoon, might be a wedge Of
onion frittata or artichoke tart, a crunchy pillow of fried dough served with figs or prosciutto, a purée of fava beans, or sweet peppers mounded on a slice of rustic country bread.
The best-known merende in America are pizza and focaccia, but
there's an entire universe of appealing food revealed in this book. Though the recipes are tied to centuries of tradition that go back to a time when merende reinvigorated laborers in the fields, they're singularly perfect for contemporary eating in
America and are as versatile as they are delicious.
Merende make perfect impromptu meals because they are stunningly simple foods meant to make life easy. Some-bruschetta with various toppings, frittate, vegetable tarts, polenta crostini -- may be
familiar, while others are totally new discoveries. Served individually or in combination, they can become a meal -- any meal -- and they are healthy, inexpensive, casual, perfect for the relaxed way we live.
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