by Mary Taylor Simeti
A marvelous tour through one of Italy’s most favorite regions filled with wonderful gastronomic history and over 100 spectacular, authentic recipes, Pomp and Sustenance is a celebration of one of the oldest, most varied, and best-loved cuisines of Europe, at once frugal and extravagant, robustly simple, yet often handsomely ornate. Mary Taylor Simeti surveys the bounty of the Sicilian table and of Sicilian history, weaving the two together in a wonderfully appetizing presentation not only of everyday Sicilian fare such as hearty Impanata (Bread Pie Stuffed with Broccoli, Sausage, and Mozzarella) and Pasta con le Melanzane (Penne with Eggplant, Ricotta, and Basil), but also of the sweet and savory treats reserved for holidays and special occasions including the spectacular Cassata (Sponge Cake Filled with Almond Paste and Ricotta Cream) and irresistible Sfinci Ammilati (Honey Puffs for Saint Joseph’s Day). Simeti gives us authentic and appealing recipes as well as evocations of the dishes’ origins: from the simple glories of vine, olive, and wheat to the culinary innovations of Arab and Norman invaders; from the plain but mouth-watering dishes prepared by peasants in the Middle Ages to the ritual luxuries of Sicily’s aristocracy; from the succulent delicacies made in monasteries and convents to the street-food pleasures that have become favorites all over the world. With more than 100 photographs and illustrations, this comprehensive volume is a book to cook from, a book to read, and a book to treasure as a testament to one of the finest cuisines in the world.