An authentic guide to the festive, mouthwatering sweets of Southern Italy, including regional specialties that are virtually unknown in the US, as well as variations on more popular desserts such as cannoli, biscotti, and gelato.
As a follow-up to her acclaimed My Calabria, Rosetta Costantino collects 75 favorite desserts from her Southern Italian homeland, including the regions of Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, and Sicily. These areas have a history of rich traditions and tasty, beautiful desserts, many of them tied to holidays and festivals. For example, in the Cosenza region of Calabria, Christmas means plates piled with grispelle (warm fritters drizzled with local honey) and pitta 'mpigliata (pastries filled with walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon). For the feast of Carnevale, Southern Italians celebrate with bugie ("liars"), sweet fried dough dusted in powdered sugar, meant to tattle on those who sneak off with them by leaving a wispy trail of sugar.
With fail-proof recipes and information on the desserts' cultural origins and context, Costantino illuminates the previously unexplored confectionary traditions of this enchanting region.
About the Author
Born and raised in Verbicaro, Calabria, ROSETTA COSTANTINO moved to Oakland, California, with her parents at the age of fourteen. She earned a chemical engineering degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and spent twenty years working in Silicon Valley. Now, often assisted by her mother, Maria, she shares the techniques and tastes of the traditional Calabrian kitchen in her popular cooking classes. She is the author (with Janet Fletcher) of My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy’s Undiscovered South, which was nominated for an IACP award in 2011. Rosetta lives in Oakland with her husband and two children. Learn more at cookingwithrosetta.com
JENNIE SCHACHT is a culinary writer and consultant based in Oakland, California. She is the author of i scream SANDWICH! and Farmers’ Market Desserts, and co-author of The Wine Lover’s Dessert Cookbook, Without Reservations, Sweet & Skinny, and several other works. Her culinary and health care consulting company, Schacht & Associates, has raised over $135 million for public and not-for-profit organizations. Learn more at jennieschacht.com
“Rosetta has given us a sweet and soulful taste of the land and culture of Southern Italy-flavors and fragrances practically leap off the page. From the simplest three-ingredient walnut cookies (that you will want to jump up and make immediately, as I did) to more elaborate celebration desserts-all are made doable with well-written recipes and beautiful photos. Fig syrup and dolci di noci now have a permanent place in my repertoire.” —Alice Medrich, author of Bittersweet and Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts
“I’ve been chasing down Southern Italian dessert recipes for thirty years, and my dear friend Rosetta just saved me another decade. She is truly one of the best Italian cooks I know!” —Michael Chiarello, chef and owner of Bottega and Coqueta
“Reading this book, I pictured Rosetta moving between bakeries and homes throughout Southern Italy, her impeccable sweet tooth and culinary knowledge guiding her to the special sweets of each village. Brava to Rosetta for creating a book that’s original, tantalizing, and embodies the culture and spirit of her region.” —Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker