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Getting this cookbook was a real treat. Not only did I get to read a beautiful book filled with authentic recipes and helpful tips for navigating the Roman food scene, I also got to ask author Elizabeth Minchilli a few questions about her book. She also writes the blog Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome.
Interview with Elizabeth Minchilli
Author of Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City
Katie: There are so many unwritten rules to learn in a new culture, from how to shop in the market, to how to properly order coffee. How long would you say it took you to master most of these unwritten rules and feel comfortable navigating most situations in Italy?
Elizabeth: Keep in mind that I’ve been living on and off in Italy since I was 12 years old. So some of the ‘hidden rules’ I’ve been able to absorb along the way. Others have taken a bit longer to sink in. For instance, it took me a few years to absorb the fact that if I wasn’t loyal to one fruit and vegetable vendor in the market, she would stop giving me the best produce.
Katie: All of the recipes in Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City look delicious, but if you had to recommend one savory and one sweet recipe that (to you) captures the heart and soul of Rome, which two recipes would you recommend?
Elizabeth: For me the most iconic savory dish is Amatriciana. That’s the heart and soul of Rome (not necessarily Italy) with its combination of pasta topped with tomatoes and bits of guanciale. My go to sweet recipe has got to be a Crostata. Although there are a lot of fancier pastry shop type sweets, every home cook has her own version of this short crust based tart in her head.
Katie: In your book, you recommend shopping for olive oil from a vendor you trust. Do you have a trusted source available in the United States you’d recommend for readers seeking a quality olive oil?
Elizabeth: I can recommend Zingermans, Gustiamo and Formaggio Kitchen, all of which have online shopping.
Katie: Thank you, Elizabeth, for taking the time to chat with us!
If you could ask Elizabeth Minchilli anything about Rome or recipes, what would you ask?
Photo credit: Featured image of Rome from FreeImages.com