What could be better than a culinary trip through Southern Italy, including Sicily? Wait! Southern Italy? Like many people who have spent time in Italy, I usually mean northern Italy when I talk about my favorite country. Like many Italians, I have had the same prejudices about Southern Italy.
I have not explored much of Southern Italy, but my recent trip to Sicily was such a beautiful experience, not to mention a delicious one, that my curiosity and my appetite is whetted to see other parts of the Italian South.
This desire has been heigthtened by Salute!, a book by Gail and Kevin Donovan, and Simon Griffiths, with Robert Castellani, which describes a fascinating trip through much of Southern Italy and Sicily. The authors include a husband and wife team, a chef who runs a restaurant in Australia, and a photographer.
The result is a combination travel book and cookbook, complete with beautiful photographs, that is a guide through the region and its food. As a cookbook it has great recipes, both expected and unexpected.
Because the authors have experience cooking in a restaurant, their commentary on what they have eaten makes it all the more interesting. The anecdotes of their trips include hair-raising rides on southern Italian roads, touring Sicilian olive farms, and discovering beautiful cities and glorious restaurants.
The book also includes descriptions of challenging stays in some places. Salute! is a cookbook that is a pleasure to read and a travel guide with great recipes. What more can you ask for in a book? I highly recommend Salute to everyone who loves Italy and loves to cook.
To the authors Salute! And Grazie per un buon viaggio.
Salute! is not easy to find, but searching for books can be entertaining. There are a few copies available at Amazon where it rates five stars.
This review was written by Susan Spalt.