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Italy in Small Bites    by Carol Field order for
Italy in Small Bites
by Carol Field
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 1993 (1993)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

'A delightful collection of intriguingly simple recipes for the informal snacks and comfort food relished by Italians midmorning, midafternoon, and just about any other time of day.' Great cover quote for a wonderful cookbook. Italy in Small Bites is a compendium of 'merende' the simple delicious between-meal meals cherished by Italians for centuries. There is no time that is not a good time for a small meal - over coffee in the morning, as a pick-up before lunch, to hold one over until dinnertime, or perhaps a small bite to send one off to bed.

With information and tips preceding each section, the cookbook starts off running with great recipes and doesn't stops until the pages run out. A dish I haven't had since before my children were born and my first is soon to be 50! is Stuffed Fried Olives. Wow! They were divine. Glad to find a recipe. The Tuscan Pesto made with kale instead of basil is a must-try for me. Does anyone really need a recipe for Toasted Garlic Bread? Probably not. But, if so, it's here. How about Cornmeal Flatbread with Walnuts? Or Onion Pie? There's a variety of Fritatta, and I know I would like them all. Or how about Matchstick Zucchini Salad with extra-virgin olive oil and herbs? Never had it, but am more than willing to try.

Breads you can't go wrong with a great loaf of bread. We have Rustic Whole-Wheat Bread, Olive Studded Rolls, Squash Bread Laced with Tomatoes, Onions and Sweet Peppers, Cheese Bread from Le Marche, Crispy Savory Rings. I can't stand it. Bread is truly the staff of life for me at least. Sweets, you ask? Sure. Italians love them too. There are four recipes count 'em for different flavored Biscotti. Ring-Shaped Spicy Fig Cookies and Spicy Wine-Flavored Chocolate Cookies spark my interest, but the Raisin-Filled Wreath Cake makes me sit up and take notice. Adore raisins in anything. Bread Pudding with Fruit would send me into ecstasies of delight - my favorite of all desserts.

You'll want to acquire at least two copies of award winning author Carol Field's Italy in Small Bites - one as a gift, and the other locked away where no one but you can get your hands on it.

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