Italian Snacking: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Every Hour of the Day

Union Square. Mar. 2024. 272p. ISBN 9781454949756. $35. COOKING
Food editor and recipe tester Gass (Heirloom Kitchen) wants to introduce Americans to the Italian way of snacking. After first delivering a quick introduction to the distinctive gastronomic delights offered in Italy’s different regions, she serves up over 100 spuntini, or small bites, divided into four categories: “Midmorning Snacks,” “Afternoon Treats,” “Evening Appetizers,” and “Street Food.” Whether one has a sweet or savory snack craving, Gass has plenty to tempt readers, with delicious treats such as mozzarella in carrozza (fried cheese sandwich) and brutti ma buoni (hazelnut drop cookies). In some cases, she puts her own twist on an Italian staple, such as her addition of hazelnut and chocolate to the classic cake ciambella. A concise survey of staple ingredients that should be stocked in any Italian pantry and a collection of core recipes for things such as pizza dough and perfect pesto round out the book.
VERDICT Gass shows her deep appreciation for and knowledge of Italian cuisine in this deftly written guide to small bites that pack a powerful flavor punch.
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