As a partner in wine, I am always on the lookout for lovely little reads about the fermented grape. This time we are in Tuscany for a little sun and plonk, (how many words can you think of for wine?) as we recommend Cooking with Frenet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson.
The book is a delightful and funny read that gives you a taste of the Italian sun through the satirical eyes, and recipes, of an English ghost writer. A wonderfully eclectic book that you are never quite sure where it is leading, but you enjoy the journey all the same.
There is an array of characters and nationalities that drop into our ‘hero’s’ world, disrupting, disturbing and winding him up beautifully. As he thinks quite highly of himself, in that fabulous Englishman in his castle and abroad way, you enjoy both his unusual views and his reactions to those who invade his world.
And the Frenet Branca? I had to look this up when reading the book, as I had not heard of it before. Frenet Branca is a bitter herbal liquer, often served as a digestif (after a meal), invented in the mid 19th century in Milan. Gerald Sampler, the Englishman abroad, has a particular love for this drink and particularly likes to cook the weird and wonderful with it. A thoroughly divergent aside is the recipes for these dishes are included in the book, which sorely makes one desire to try ones hand at them. But then again, maybe not.
Our Book Club Disclosure
At our Vive le Livre Book Club we only recommend books we have actually read and honestly liked. We are affiliated with Amazon so that if you would like to read a book that we recommend (whether on kindle or the real deal), we are able to provide a direct link for you to order it. If you do follow our link, and buy Cooking with Frenet Branca (within 24 hours), we will get a small (and we do mean small, but every bit counts towards the wire we need in the vineyard) percentage. Using our links will not cost you anything – other than the cost of the actual book, if you buy it of course – but it will be appreciated by us. And for that, you get a heart felt Merci and Santé!
Our affiliation is currently with Amazon UK – no problem if you are buying for a kindle or similar, or would like the real deal and live in the UK. Postage for a book elsewhere would mean it is best to look for this read on your ‘local’ Amazon. We don’t gain anything, c’est la vie, but you get a lovely book to read. We are striving towards affiliating further afield, but it is alas not a very quick process.
If you would like to read more about our Affiliates, visit our Nourishing Pumpjack & Piddlewick page.