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.
"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