Italy is a land of appetite, where life is embraced with passion, and food prepared with generosity and joy. But the cuisine is hard to define, as each region has its own rich culinary traditions - and so deep is the belief of locals that their food is the best, that often Italy's finest dishes are unknown from one place to the next.
Jacob Kenedy, a self-avowed culinary magpie, travelled the length and breadth of the country over the course of a year, gathering up his favourite recipes - many of them obscure, some bizarre, all utterly delicious. Like the menu at Bocca di Lupo, Jacob's award-winning London restaurant, this book is a thrilling, exotic journey through the true flavours of Italy: the hearty risotti of the north, the exquisite shellfish of the Veneto, the earthy sausages of Bologna, the fried street food of Rome, the baroque desserts of Naples and the Arab-influenced sweets of Sicily.
The recipes in Bocca are a revelation, a portal to a side of Italy that is gritty, glamorous, seedy and mysterious. Be warned, this is a cookbook with teeth.
The first two paragraph from the book.
"I don’t eat food, I devour it. The act of consumption, of making something wonderful a part of me, goes rather to my head. In a fleeting moment, I taste that most precious ingredient, the love a great cook has poured so freely into the pot. It is all too easy to forget where the food came from, and the reason it is delicious.
I think there is something particularly alluring about Italian food – don’t you? It has special qualities that permeate not only every dish worth eating there, but every aspect of the culture. In Italy, my spirits lift. The architecture seems to enhance nature in the countryside, and to exalt mankind in the cities. Human beauty shines in paintings and sculptures, in the smiles people give to children, in the directness with which they talk, in the food they prepare and eat with such passion and understanding. I am freed from any sense of the guilt or malaise that seem so common in the modern age. It is this freedom, this happiness, which makes Italian food so uniquely delicious and nourishing."