Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Italian
Bringing Tuscany Home : Sensuous Style From the Heart of Italy
ROTHFELD, STEVEN (Photographer)
Published: October 5, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Only those who love sitting through slides from other people's vacations are likely to warm to Mayes's latest, on the joys of owning a renovated Tuscan villa. Mayes's first book on the subject, Under the Tuscan Sun, sold two
million copies and spawned a Hollywood film, but with each return visit to familiar territory (Bella Tuscany; In Tuscany) Mayes finds less fresh material. This work is a grab bag of guess-you-had-to-be-there anecdotes (Mayes devotes an entire paragraph
to the activities of a wasp that flies into her study while she's writing) and suggestions for how readers can, as Mayes and her husband, Ed, do, live the good life in northern California and Italy. (Hint: it takes a lot of money.) The book includes 25
recipes, though few are specifically Tuscan. Instead, Mayes devotes space to Nancy Silverton's Italian Plum Tart (Silverton, founder of Los Angeles's Campanile restaurant, has her own villa one valley over) and several recipes of Ed's. The listing of
Mayes's own "At Home in Tuscany Collection" of furniture at book's end adds to the coyly self-indulgent feel.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Where UNDER THE TUSCAN
SUN was a passionate love letter to Tuscany, this book is an often tedious travelogue. "Knowledge of the superior destroys you for the ordinary," Mayes tells us, as she applies the maxim not only to dinners but also to her current lifestyle. Her
haughtiness is softened by her slightly Southern drawl, and Mayes does redeem herself in the final section of the book when she indulges in the sensuous glories of Tuscan food, with recipes and how-to's via her husband, poet Edward Mayes. Details of the
disastrous first pressing of wine from their grapes ("tastes like shoe polish") is, at last, a flaw in the perfection of life at their home, Bramasole. Mayes is human, after all. And the adventures of a wasp sneaking through a keyhole into the author's
desk to lay its eggs is told with a sweetness that contrasts with the general pomposity of the narration. All in all, still a trip worth taking, but patience and perseverance are necessary parts of the baggage. M.T.B. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine--
Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine--This text refers to the
Audio CD edition.
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