by John F. Mariani
As more and more Italian foods and wines cross the seas, you may need to know the difference between terms like “passito” and “passato.” According to the Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, the first is a type of sweet wine, the second a puréed soup or smooth tomato sauce. Within the 2300 definitions, John Mariani includes the history of many items in this comprehensive yet concise guide. He explains the origins of popular dishes and why, for example, you won’t find Veal Parmigiano in Italy. Along with information that will help cooks in tracking down ingredients there are recipes for Spaghetti Carbonara, Pasta & Fagioli, Zuppa Inglese, and other classics. The entries for regional Italian foods make this book a useful companion for travelers, and it’s compact enough to fit in your carry-on bag.