Reviews and Blog Posts: Italian

Life is beautiful = La vita è bella

by Roberto Benigni

Reviewer Rating:

This is what movies are made for. It has everything, comedy, charm, romance, circumstance, and tragedy. Roberto Benigni directs and plays the role of a Jewish Italian father who ends up in a Nazi concentration camp with his wife and son. It is a heart wrenching story and hard subject...

International Cookbooks for the Ages

Marcella Hazan

The inimitable Marcella Hazan died this week at the age of 89. As the New York Times noted in the headline for her obituary, she "changed the way Americans cook Italian food." Her passing got me thinking about enduring cookbooks by strong-minded writers who have guided me in the kitchen and whose prose is a pleasure to read away from the stove. 

Hazan authored a number of cookbooks, notably The Classic Italian Cookbook. Although she never felt comfortable enough in English to compose in that language (she wrote in Italian and her husband translated the text), she had a forceful voice that commanded the reader's attention. She was exacting, opinionated, and sometimes peremptory--a stern teacher whose rigor her students cherish.

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