The author MAry Taylor Simeti, an American married to a Sicilian, set out to discover Sicilian food first hand. She haunted former convents and palaces where Palermo's libraries have been maintained. She tested each ancient recipe herself and updated the methods. Her directions are clear and easy to follow. The book is organized so that the material reflects both the external influences of a series of conquerors, and the domestic changes brought about by peasant, clergy and aristocrat alike. Her chapter titles hint at the enticing discoveries waiting for the reader and the recipes reflect the chapter titles.
recipes included as an added bonus. Simeti begins with the classical era (with Odysseus himself, and a recipe for fava bean soup) and concludes with a chapter on Sicily's special ice creams and gelati; her wit and pleasing style make her observations on food, eating habits, and culture as addictive as some of the dishes she describes.' Library Journal