> Regions > Calabria

Cucina Di Calabria: Treasured Recipes and Family Traditions from Southern Italy

by Mary Amabile Palmer

For centuries, one of Italy’s best-kept culinary secrets has been the cooking of Calabria, that region occupying the toe of the Italian boot. But in Cucina di Calabria, Mary Amabile Palmer boldly breaks the silence and introduces an exciting new cuisine to the world. Located just across the Mediterranean from North Africa–not far from Greece and Asia Minor–Calabria has long been the target of invasion and occupation; whatever the political fallout of such incursions, Calabrian cooking is all the richer for the introduction of foreign cuisine and ingredients (olives from the Greeks; eggplants and pine nuts from the Arabs)–that contribute a succulent and daring mélange of taste and texture. In addition to the recipes themselves, Mary Amabile Palmer, a first-generation Italian American, includes anecdotes about Calabrian culture, history, traditions, and festivals, as well as recollections from her childhood. These delightful snippets provide context to the more than 200 Calabrian dishes detailed in Cucina di Calabria, making the book as much fun to read as it is to cook from.

Mafia, Peasants and Great Estates in Traditional Calabria: Society in Traditional Calabria

by Pino Arlacchi (Author), Jonathan Steinberg (Translator)

Vivid study of social formations in southern Italy during the first half of this century that challenges established ideas about the homogeneous nature of Mediterranean peasant society and proffers a new understanding of how traditional societies are structured. Written by an acclaimed authority and former Under Secretary of the United Nations.

Old Calabria

by Norman Douglas

When Norman Douglas visited Calabria, Italy in the early years of the 20th century, its wild, secluded, and enigmatic country attracted little interest and few tourists. But Douglas never followed the already-traveled path, and so, we have this classic in which he wittily escorts us from the promontory of Gargano to the tip of Aspromonte, and through the influences of many invaders. Elegant and literary, this remarkable travel book stands in a class of its own.

A Sweet and Glorious Land: Revisiting the Ionian Sea

by John Keahey

Veteran newspaperman Keahey, now an editor and reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune, has retraced the footsteps of George Gissing, a Victorian writer (and good friend of Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells), who traveled to Southern Italy in 1897. His subsequent accounts became a classic in travel literature titled By the Ionian Sea. A hundred years later, Keahey visits such fascinating and historical destinations as Naples, Paola, Cosenza, Sybaris, Taranto, Crotone, Catanzaro, Reggio di Calabria, and Squillace and notes changes and similarities over the past century. The result is an informative and well-researched work on one of the most popular parts of Italy that provides a historical perspective on the area and its people. A detailed chronology, maps, the author’s photographs, and a bibliography are all useful, but an index would have been helpful as well. Recommended for public libraries with large collections on travel and Victorian literature.

Calabrian Tales

by Peter Chiarella

Amazon Reader’s Review: “Drawn from a true succession of personal family incidents, Calabrian Tales: A Memoir Of 19th Century Southern Italy by Peter Chiarella is a compelling saga about a family who lived in one of Italy’s poorest regions more than 100 years ago. Here are memorably crafted stories of inexplicable injustice, poverty, avarice, indomitable pride, and survival. Marianna (who is the author’s great aunt) is a woman who mortifies her family by becoming the mistress of a wealthy noble. The resulting familial clashes, the trials of emigration, and the struggle to make a new life in America enhance this engaging and deftly written tale of enduring humanity, pride, and culture.”