The two media powerhouses appear to have spared no expense in its production. Each chapter represents a different Italian region (20 in all), which are broken down in three parts: Northern Italy, Central Italy, and Southern Italy and the Islands. Captivating photographs of majestic landscapes and architecture, lively cafe and market scenes, farmers and artisans toiling at their crafts, and drool-worthy close-ups of prepared dishes keep you flipping the pages.
But slow down to read the evocative essays by James Beard Award nominee Eugenia Bone and prolific Italian cookbook author Julia della Croce. Take time to study the beautifully illustrated maps and spotlights on local ingredients, wines and food-related festivals. You’ll better understand the book’s premise laid out in Jack Bishop’s introduction: that “the real Italy is so much more multi-faceted, and so much more remarkable, than the Italy that lives on in popular imagination.” And your appetite should be whetted to dive into the recipes curated and fine-tuned by the expert test kitchen team Bishop has helmed for decades.