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by John F. Mariani

From the publisher: Not so long ago, Italian food was regarded as a poor man’s gruel-little more than pizza, macaroni with sauce, and red wines in a box. Here, John Mariani shows how the Italian immigrants to America created, through perseverance and sheer necessity, an Italian-American food culture, and how it became a global obsession.

The book begins with the Greek, Roman, and Middle Eastern culinary traditions before the boot-shaped peninsula was even called “Italy,” then takes readers on a journey through Europe and across the ocean to America alongside the poor but hopeful Italian immigrants who slowly but surely won over the hearts and minds of Americans by way of their stomachs. Featuring evil villains such as the Atkins diet and French chefs, this is a rollicking tale of how Italian cuisine rose to its place as the most beloved fare in the world, through the lives of the people who led the charge.

John Mariani began his career as a journalist at New York magazine in 1973. Since then, he has become one of America’s premier food writers. He is a columnist for Esquire and Bloomberg News, was nominated three times for the James Beard Journalism Award, and is the author of several highly regarded books on food, including references such as Mariani’s Coast-to-Coast Dining Guide, America Eats Out (winner of the IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award for reference), and  The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink. He’s editor of Italian Cuisine: Basic Cooking Techniques, the primary Italian textbook at the Culinary Institute of America.

St. Martin’s Press, 2011

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